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Tag: mining history

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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La Plata Mountains: Kennebec Pass Peaks

Friday & Saturday, August 21-22, 2020

This weekend I knew that the entire state of Colorado was going to be completely covered with smoke from wildfires since it seems like the entire West is currently on fire. After looking at smoke and weather forecasts for the weekend it looked like my best bet to escape the worst of the smoke might be to head down to the southwest portion of the San Juan Mountains, so I thought another visit to the La Plata Mountains would be a good idea. In order to continue my Summer of 12ers I decided to hike to a couple of peaks near Kennebec Pass along the Colorado Trail. It’s been about ten years since the last time I drove up to Kennebec Pass and I was looking forward to spending some more time hiking in this area again.

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Among Giants of the Uncompahgre: Matterhorn Peak

Uncompahgre Wilderness: Between Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn Peaks
Friday & Saturday, August 14-15, 2020

This Sunday Diane and I have a camping permit secured for an overnight backpacking trip to the popular Conundrum Hot Springs near Aspen, but I didn’t want to skip out on hiking at least one new peak this weekend, so I thought I’d try to find something quick and easy to hike on Saturday morning before I returned home to pack for the overnighter. Since I haven’t made it back to the Uncompahgre Wilderness yet this year, and it’s probably my favorite wilderness area close to home, I figured doing something in that area would be a good choice. After looking over my maps I settled on hiking Matterhorn Peak (13,590) which has been on my to-do list for far too long. What better way to spend the morning than hiking in between two of my favorite 14ers!

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Fairview Peak Fire Lookout: Highest in North America

Fossil Ridge Recreation Area & Cumberland Pass Peaks
Saturday & Sunday, August 8-9, 2020

This weekend Diane and I headed over to the Sawatch Range near Pitkin so we could visit the highest Fire Lookout in North America, which is located on the summit of Fairview Peak at 13,214 feet. Last summer I spent a night in the Jersey Jim Fire Lookout Tower and since then I’ve been interested in checking out more of the fire lookouts in Colorado. The highest one in North America sounded like the perfect place to start, especially since I could hike a new 13er at the same time! While we were in the area we also planned to hike to the summits of a couple other peaks near Cumberland Pass so I could continue my Summer of 12ers! It’s been a long time since I spent much time around Cumberland Pass, and to be honest, I don’t really remember being that impressed with the area when I drove through, but I was probably in a hurry to get elsewhere at the time, so I was looking forward to spending a little more time exploring this part of the Sawatch.

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Hanging Flume Canyon: San Miguel & Dolores Rivers

Rivers of the West End | Uravan Ballpark to the Rimrocker Trail
Saturday, May 30, 2020

I had high hopes of floating more ephemeral desert rivers this spring like I did last year, but unfortunately this year hasn’t quite panned out as well as I had hoped it would. Many of the rivers that I wanted to float this year just haven’t had enough water in them and the snowpack is almost gone in most places, so it’s not looking very good. However, while keeping an eye on the local rivers of western Colorado earlier this month, it was looking like the San Miguel River might be our best chance for a float, so I tentatively planned a trip with Jackson for the last weekend in May through Hanging Flume Canyon and hoped for the best. During the week leading up to this weekend I kept a close eye on the water levels and forecast for the San Miguel and things were looking pretty good, especially with the little heat wave that we experienced towards the end of the week, so on Friday our tentative plans turned into a definitive plan for Saturday and I was really looking forward to getting on the lower San Miguel and Dolores Rivers this year!

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