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Tag: cunningham gulch

Little Giant Basin Peaks

Fall Colors 2020 | King Solomon Mountain & Little Giant Peak
Friday & Saturday, September 25-26, 2020

After spending a few days last week on a relaxing river trip through Meander Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, it was time for me to squeeze in one last visit to the mountains before I start heading back into the desert until next summer. Earlier this year I had set a personal goal to try to hike at least 30 summits this summer and I was at 29 as of Friday, so I needed to get in at least one more peak to meet that goal. Since I also needed to start preparing for another long trip starting next weekend, I wanted to stay closer to home and decided to try to climb a pair of peaks from Little Giant Basin near Silverton on Saturday morning. As usual, I left right after work on Friday and took the Million Dollar Highway from Ouray to Silverton. The fall colors were looking very nice this weekend, so I stopped for a couple of photos along the way…

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Along the Continental Divide: Stony Pass Peaks

Saturday & Sunday, August 22-23, 2020

After spending the morning hiking to a couple peaks along the Colorado Trail near Kennebec Pass in the La Plata Mountains, I thought it was time to visit a couple of 13ers that I had missed on a previous visit to Stony Pass a few years ago since I got sidetracked that day helping a mountain biker get to the airport in Durango. After grabbing a quick lunch in Durango I headed back to the heart of the San Juan Mountains near Silverton and drove up to the Continental Divide at Stony Pass in the late afternoon. I found a spot to camp for the night and rested for a little bit. As sunset approached I hiked up the Hardrock 100 route to the summit of Hardrocker (13,214) so I could watch the light show. I made it up to the summit a bit earlier than I had planned, but since the summit was large and grassy I just laid down for a while and enjoyed the comfortable temperature and beautiful scenery from the top.

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Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour

Saturday, July 21, 2018

I’ve been driving by the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour near Silverton every summer for over a decade now, and every time I do I always think to myself that I should stop by and check it out sometime. Usually I have other plans and am headed elsewhere, so I never do. Since my family from out of town has been visiting me for the past few days, they wanted to go to the Ouray Hot Springs this morning and then drive over Red Mountain Pass so they could go on the Mine Tour and get dinner in Silverton afterwards. Since Diane and I have been tagging along with them wherever they want to go, we finally got our chance to check out this tour. I must say, it was pretty cool and very informative if you are at all interested in the old mines found in the region. For those who are not familiar, this particular tour lasts about one hour and takes you 1/3 of a mile into the heart of 13,300 foot Galena Mountain where you can follow the vein and see real mining equipment in action. I took a number of photos during the tour that you can check out below.

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Highland Mary Lakes & Verde Lakes

Saturday & Sunday, June 9-10, 2018

This weekend Diane and I decided to go on a very early season backpacking trip into the high country near Silverton. During a normal year we wouldn’t even consider going on a backpacking trip into the mountains until later in June or early in July, but with the low snowpack this year we decided to give it a try much earlier to see how the conditions really were. Also, since it’s still early in the season, the monsoons haven’t started yet and we would be able to camp well above tree line without worrying about storms or lightning. Plus, with Highway 550 closed between Durango and Silverton because of the 416 Fire, we figured the mountains near Silverton wouldn’t be very busy right now and we hoped to find plenty of solitude.

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Beating the Heat in the San Juan Mountains

Saturday & Sunday, June 23-24, 2012

After spending a few hours in the morning at the Shavano Valley Petroglyph Park near Montrose, we continued driving into the San Juan Mountains to get out of the heat for the weekend. Shortly after crossing over Red Mountain Pass we turned down the road along the South Fork of Mineral Creek and found a campsite for the weekend. After setting up our camp we drove through Silverton and made our way up Cunningham Gulch to the trailhead for the Highland Mary Lakes. As soon as we passed through Silverton the valley started filling up with smoke, and by the time we reached the Cunningham Trailhead the smoke had become pretty thick and there was even a little ash falling from the sky. We would later learn this smoke was from a wildfire that had started near Mancos.

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