Category: Camping

Saturday & Sunday, July 15-16, 2017

View from our campsite along the Little Cimarron River in the Uncompahgre Wilderness.

Last Labor Day weekend, Diane and I had set off to complete a three day loop in the Uncompahgre Wilderness connecting the Fall Creek Trail and the Little Cimarron Trail. Unfortunately, stormy weather prevented us from crossing over the high ridge into the Little Cimarron River valley, so we had to cut our trip short and returned the way we had come. This weekend we decided to go on an overnight trip along the Little Cimarron River to make up for it since I’ve been itching to get back into the Uncompahgre Wilderness, which is one of my favorite, and often overlooked, wilderness areas close to home.

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Saturday & Sunday, July 8-9, 2017

Following the Rico – Silverton Trail through South Park on our way back from The Colorado Trail.

Diane and I spent the past weekend in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton getting in a little high elevation hiking. We left home early on Saturday morning and drove all the way to the end of the Bandora Mine Road in the South Fork of Mineral Creek and found a campsite shortly before arriving at the trailhead. We quickly setup camp and then started hiking up the Rico – Silverton Trail to it’s intersection with The Colorado Trail. There were a lot of wildflowers along the trail, especially in South Park along with some patches of snow over parts of The Colorado Trail, including a big drift across Rolling Mountain Pass. When we reached the high point of the trail I climbed to the summit of an unnamed 12er that offered great views of Engineer Mountain, Jura Knob and the surrounding area.

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Friday – Sunday, June 30 – July 2, 2017

A view from near the summit of Dry Mountain over to Bald Mountain and Mount Nebo.

This weekend I was heading up to Salt Lake City to see Rise Against at the USANA Amphitheater on Saturday evening, but since I have a Colorado 14er scheduled to climb later this month I really need to make sure that I’m in shape for it by hiking in the mountains as much as I can this month. Before the trip I did a little research to see if there were any shorter hikes with a couple thousand feet of elevation gain in the Wasatch Mountains that I would be able to squeeze into the trip and I settled on climbing Dry Mountain (9,865) near Santaquin. This mountain wasn’t too far out of my way and it looked like I would also be able to camp near the trailhead the night before. Plus, there wasn’t much information about it online, so I figured the trail wouldn’t be crowded, either. Dry Mountain is one of the shorter peaks found along the Wasatch Front but the trail to it’s summit is just over two miles in length with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain, so it fit my needs perfectly. This peak comes in at #97 on Utah’s 100 Most Prominent Peaks List with 1,845 feet of prominence. Apparently, this mountain is also featured prominently in the movie Footloose, but since I’ve never seen it I can’t confirm.

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Friday – Sunday, June 9-11, 2017

The Temple of Cedar Mesa hidden in Bears Ears National Monument.

Typically I avoid visiting Cedar Mesa in June because of the hotter temperatures and especially because of the annoying cedar gnats (no-see-ums) that are usually prevalent at this time of the year. However, I made an exception this year since my friend Alan and his father would be visiting the area this weekend and invited me to join them. Our friend Jerry, who I met last year on a backpacking trip on the Arizona Strip was going to be there and my old friend John Mumaw, who I hadn’t seen in a few years, was also going to be stopping by.

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Friday – Sunday, June 2-4, 2017

Sunset over ripples in the sand at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.

This year I have been trying to cross things off my to-do list that have been on there for way too long. One of the items on my list that I have been looking at for a number of years was backpacking into The Great Sand Dunes. Earlier this year I decided that this was finally the year I was going to go for it! After some research it looked like June would be a good time to go. Even though Great Sand Dunes National Park is usually pretty busy in June since Medano Creek is typically at peak flow, I figured it wouldn’t matter much for us since we would be hiking and camping deeper in the dune field than most visitors go. Looking at my calendar, my only free weekend in June was the very first weekend (It’s going to be a busy month!), which was a little earlier than I would like to have gone, but since it was our only option that’s when we decided to go.

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