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Tag: red mountains

Courthouse Mountain

Fall Colors 2014
Saturday & Sunday, September 20-21, 2014

On Saturday, Diane and I headed back down to the San Juan Mountains again so we could climb to the top of Courthouse Mountain in the Cimarron’s . While this mountain is short compared to the surrounding peaks in the area at only 12,152 feet, it is uniquely shaped and has over 1,000 feet of vertical prominence. It’s also a very distinguishable peak near Owl Creek Pass that is often photographed, especially in the fall when the surrounding mountainsides are changing colors. I have seen this mountain in the skyline for many years when I would drive to Ouray and Silverton, and decided it was finally time to climb to the top a few weeks ago when I had a different view of it during our hike into Wetterhorn Basin. While there were afternoon storms predicted after 3:00pm today, we didn’t need to get too early of a start for this hike since it’s a relatively short trail, clocking in at just under 2 miles, but it climbs almost 2,000 feet of elevation in that short distance.

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A Drive Around the San Juan’s

Labor Day Weekend | Sunday & Monday, August 31 – September 1, 2014

After our overnight backpacking trip into Wetterhorn Basin we decided to stick around the San Juan Mountains for one more day and drive a few of the high mountain passes and trails around Silverton. After lunch in Ouray, we drove over Red Mountain Pass and found a campsite up in Mineral Basin. While I was pretty sure we’d be able to find one of our usual campsites in this area open, I was surprised to find that there was no one else around considering it was Labor Day weekend. We had the area to ourselves for the night. We spent a few hours resting in camp before driving up to a few passes in the late afternoon to catch the sunset. The fast-moving clouds that had been around all day made for another spectacular sunset!

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Bear Creek & Bridge of Heaven

Saturday & Sunday, July 26-27, 2014

After staying up late on Friday night to catch a concert in Grand Junction, we slept in a little later on Saturday morning before driving down to Ouray to get some hiking in for the weekend. The plan was to hike two trails that have been on my list for a number of years. I have planned to hike both of these trails on previous occasions, but something has always come up and prevented me from doing so. We started out by hiking the Bear Creek Trail just outside of Ouray along the Million Dollar Highway. I did manage to hike a short section of this trail a few years back, but was short on time and didn’t get very far. This time we were planning on hiking to the Grizzly Bear Mine and back since we started later in the morning and knew the afternoon storms would be moving in soon.

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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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Ouray Solstice Hiking

Upper Cascade Falls & Baldy Peak
Saturday & Sunday, June 21-22, 2014

This weekend for the summer solstice, Diane and I headed down to Ouray to get in a little hiking in the San Juan Mountains. Since there’s still a lot of snow up high and it would be our first time really hiking in the mountains this year, we decided to start with some lower elevation hikes close to town between 8,000 and 10,000 feet. When we arrived, we setup camp just above town in the Amphitheater Campground and then got started on our first hike up to the Upper Cascade Creek Falls and Chief Ouray Mine. The hike started out easy, but soon it quickly climbed over 1,000 feet up a series of switchbacks. First we reached the Upper Cascade Falls and took a few photos and then we crossed the creek and continued on to the remains of the Chief Ouray Mine located high above town.

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