Tagged: haze

Southwest Ridge | Saturday & Sunday, August 5-6, 2017

A view of Sayres Peak (13,738) at sunrise as I hiked to the summit of La Plata Peak.

Last fall during my drive to the trailhead for Mount Elbert (14,433), I got a nice view of La Plata Peak as I was descending Independence Pass shortly before sunset and thought to myself that I should make time to climb that peak soon. That thought has stuck around in the back of my mind for the last year and I finally decided to make it happen this weekend since I had good luck with Culebra Peak (14,047) last weekend.

Continue Reading…

New Year’s Day | Sunday, January 1, 2017
Wedding Canyon Loop 2017

The first sunrise on the Colorado National Monument in 2017 from the Wedding Canyon Trail.

On New Year’s Day Diane and I were up before sunrise to go on our first hike of 2017 in the Colorado National Monument. As usual, we returned to the Wedding Canyon Loop which makes a complete loop around The Island. We went to bed early on New Year’s Eve so we would have no problems getting up for the hike, although we were awoken by fireworks at midnight, and made it to the Monument Canyon Trailhead just before sunrise. We typically hike this loop in a counter-clockwise direction because I prefer to climb the steeper trail in Wedding Canyon and then descend the more gradual trail in Monument Canyon. There was plenty of snow and ice on the trail in Wedding Canyon, but we never had to put on our microspikes this time. As we ascended Wedding Canyon we were treated to a very nice sunrise, but as soon as we reached Independence Monument at the middle of the loop more clouds moved in and blocked the sun for the remainder of the hike back down. We completed the five mile loop in just over two hours and were off the trail before the ground could thaw out and turn into mud.

Continue Reading…

New Year’s Eve | Saturday, December 31, 2016

Underneath Liberty Bell Arch in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.

Diane and I headed out to the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area early this morning for our final hike of 2016. We started our hike from the Rattlesnake Canyon Trailhead near Fruita and hiked up to the top of the Pollock Bench before dropping down a steep trail into Upper Pollock Canyon so we could visit Liberty Bell Arch (Pollock Arch). After checking out the arch from a few different vantage points we decided to continue down Pollock Canyon instead of returning the way had come to create a ten mile loop. While I had hiked all of this route on different trips before, it was all new for Diane.

Continue Reading…

Saturday & Sunday, September 12-13, 2015

Sunset on San Luis Peak in the La Garita Mountains.

Since Diane needed to stay home this weekend to get some school work done, I was on my own and decided to climb my sixth and final new fourteener of the year. After looking over my maps I settled on hiking to the summit of San Luis Peak (14,014) in the La Garita Mountains near Creede. Instead of taking the standard route up Stewart Creek from the northeast, I chose to follow the Continental Divide Trail north of Creede to the south ridge. Not only is this route a little shorter, I also thought the views along the Continental Divide would be better. Plus, I had never really stopped in Creede before and thought this would be a good opportunity to check out the area.

Continue Reading…

Saturday & Sunday, August 29-30, 2015

Mount Sopris during a spectacular sunrise last fall.

Even though it’s less than fifty feet shy of registering as one of Colorado’s 13,000 foot peaks, Mount Sopris (12,953) dominates the skyline over Carbondale and the lower Roaring Fork Valley and stands as the northern sentinel of the Elk Mountains. The surrounding Roaring Fork and Crystal River drainages give Mount Sopris vertical prominence that few other mountains in Colorado can match, rising over 6,000 feet in just a few miles. Mount Sopris is also notable for having two summits that are one-half mile apart and equal in elevation.

Continue Reading…