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Tag: porphyry basin

The Mountain Belle at Red Mountain Pass

A Winter Weekend Snowshoe Hut Trip
Friday – Sunday, January 3-5, 2020

If you know me or have been following along with my blog for any amount of time, then you probably already know that I prefer to spend my winters hiking in the desert rather than playing in the snow in the mountains. However, this weekend I decided to finally try something new that has been on my ‘to try’ list for a long time, which is to snowshoe to a hut in the mountains. Back in August I decided I was finally going to try it this winter and booked the Mountain Belle cabin above Red Mountain Pass for the first weekend of the year. I chose this particular cabin since it’s not far from home, it’s in an area that I’m very familiar with, and the hike to it isn’t very difficult since this would be our first time doing something like this. We were a little concerned that the Million Dollar Highway might be closed by a winter storm like it had been the previous weekend, but thankfully we missed the storm that moved through on New Years Day and had great weather for our very first hut trip.

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Grand Basin Traverse: The Basins of Mineral Creek

Black Bear Pass to Columbine Lake
Saturday, August 17, 2019

This weekend I decided to skip the peak bagging for a minute and just wanted to go on a nice hike in the high country through the upper basins of Mineral Creek near Silverton. I have wanted to hike to the turquoise blue waters of Columbine Lake for a long time but I didn’t really want to follow the steep trail that everyone else does, so I decided that I would drive up to Black Bear Pass and then hike over to the lake by passing through a couple different high alpine basins and maybe stop at a couple of passes along the way. Now after hiking this route I’ve got to say that it was pretty amazing! One of the nice things about this hike is that it was all above treeline and pretty much stayed between about 12,600 feet and 13,000 feet. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way, but it didn’t feel like I was climbing a steep mountain and the route offered spectacular views in all directions right from the beginning. This Grand Basin Traverse takes you through Mineral Basin, Porphyry Basin, Silver Cloud Basin and Mill Creek Basin on your way to Columbine Lake. Along the way you have the option of climbing up to two different passes for views into Mud Lake Basin and Bridal Veil Basin, plus you will also pass by Porphyry Lake, Bullion King Lake and a number of other small tarns along the way. This is definitely the way to hike to Columbine Lake!

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Red Mountain Pass Peaks

Friday – Sunday, July 10-12, 2015

June was a busy month for me that prevented me from spending much time outside and then I got sick over the long Independence Day weekend, so it’s been quite a while since I’ve been out hiking and camping and I really needed to get back into the mountains this weekend! Since I’m a little out of shape, I thought it would be a good idea to start out the season hiking a few easier peaks near Red Mountain Pass this weekend that I’ve thought about climbing for years. Diane and I left after work on Friday and drove through Ouray to one of our go-to campsites in Mineral Basin. We quickly setup camp at 11,600 feet elevation and were soon sleeping. I know that some people have trouble sleeping at higher elevations, but I almost always sleep well over 10,000 feet and this night was no exception.

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Silverton Wildflowers

Friday – Sunday, July 18-20, 2014

Diane and I decided to spend a relaxing weekend in the San Juan Mountains around Silverton camping, hiking, peak-bagging, driving high mountain passes and looking for wildflowers. We left after work on Friday and headed over Red Mountain Pass to the South Fork of Mineral Creek to look for a campsite. This used to be my go-to camping area near Silverton, but I couldn’t believe how many people were camped along here this weekend. It was ridiculous! As we were driving back out to find somewhere else to camp, Diane spotted a nice secluded campsite along the creek that no one was at, so we setup camp there since it was getting late. We didn’t have time to get anywhere else for sunset, so I just took a few photos over the South Fork of Mineral Creek behind out camp as the sun went down for the day.

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Basin Wildflower Tour

Saturday, July 7, 2012

This weekend we left home on Saturday morning and headed back up into the San Juan Mountains. I had received reports that the wildflowers were in full swing a few weeks early because of our dismal snowpack and dry spring, and I wanted to try and get some photos of them. I have never really set out to specifically photograph wildflowers before, so this would be a learning experience for me. In the end I came home with some decent wildflower photos and I learned a lot in the process. Hopefully next year I can do a little better!

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