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Tag: elk mountains

A Taste of Autumn in the West Elks

Fall Colors 2018 | Friday & Saturday, September 28-29, 2018

Aside from a quick unplanned evening on the Grand Mesa almost two weeks ago, my schedule at the end of September and early October didn’t really leave me much time for a proper Fall Colors weekend photography trip since I had a must-attend concert in Salt Lake City on Sunday evening and a river trip through Labyrinth Canyon the weekend before. Even with all the preparations for an upcoming week-long adventure into Utah I did manage to get out for a quick overnight trip to the West Elk Mountains after work on Friday. I just hoped that there was some color around for me to photograph during this narrow window of time in the mountains!

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Oh-Be-Joyful Creek to Blue Lake

Saturday & Sunday, July 14-15, 2018

So far, this seems to be the summer of hiking to places that have been on my to-do list for a very long time (Highland Mary Lakes & The Devils Causeway), so I figured it was finally time to check out Oh-Be-Joyful Creek in the Raggeds Wilderness near Crested Butte. While part of this hike is commonly done as a day trip, we decided to go for a quick and easy overnight backpacking trip up the valley so we could camp near Blue Lake, which is located in the Ruby Range on a ledge nestled below Scarp Ridge and Afley Peak. I was also hoping to climb a nearby peak in the evening or morning, depending on the weather, and maybe catch a nice sunset, too. I had viewed Blue Lake from above a few years ago when I hiked to the high point of Scarp Ridge and have wanted to get a closer look ever since.

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Horse Ranch Park Loop

Friday – Saturday, June 15-16, 2018

This turned out to be one of those weekends where nothing seemed to work out as planned. I originally had plans of peak bagging in the Ruby Range near Crested Butte, but when I left work on Friday afternoon I already knew there was a good chance that I was probably going to get rained out by the remnants of Hurricane Bud. This tropical storm was going to be bringing some much needed moisture to the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains over the weekend. The weather forecast was predicting thunderstorms, high winds, heavy rain and even possible flash flooding. Even with the chance of storms high, I decided to head that direction anyway and see if I could at least squeeze in a little hiking or photography before the weather arrived. Little did I know at the time that my biggest problem was going to be road closures and not storms!

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Beckwith Pass

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Since I’ve spent the past two weekends visiting the San Juan Mountains near Ouray, Diane and I decided to make our way over to Kebler Pass today for a little hiking in the West Elk Mountains near Crested Butte. We started just outside of the Lost Lake Slough campground and hiked up the gentle trail to Beckwith Pass, which is a low pass between East Beckwith Mountain (12,432) and the Antracite Range. While the trail never broke 10,000 feet of elevation, there were plenty of clearings that offered great views of Ruby Peak (12,644) and Mount Owen (13,058) in the Ruby Range all the way to Marcellina Mountain (11,348) and The Raggeds. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this trail but the scenery was much better than I had anticipated, plus the wildflowers were just starting to bloom. We will definitely be back to check out some of the other trails in this area, especially in the fall when the colors are changing.

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Cimarron Thirteeners

Saturday & Sunday, September 19-20, 2015

On my quest to hike and explore more of the Uncompahgre Wilderness I decided to climb a pair of thirteeners in The Cimarrons along the high ridge that towers between the West Fork and the Middle Fork of the Cimarron River. The peaks along this ridge are prominent landmarks on the horizon every time I drive south into the San Juan Mountains and it was time to finally get a closer look.

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