Tagged: san juan mountains

Darley Mountain & Dolly Varden Mountain
Friday – Saturday, September 8-9, 2017

Hiking along the ridge to the summit of Darley Mountain in the Uncompahgre Wilderness.

This weekend I wanted to climb a peak or two in the mountains since it would probably be my last opportunity this summer before I would begin spending most of my free time back in the desert of the Colorado Plateau. However, since I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately I didn’t want to travel too far from home either. After a little thought I decided to head back down to the San Juan Mountains near Engineer Pass so I could climb Darley Mountain and Dolly Varden Mountain within the Uncompahgre Wilderness. It wasn’t too long ago that I was in the area climbing a couple other peaks and it was nice to be headed back there again.

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East Fork & Middle Fork of The Cimarron River
Labor Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, September 2-4, 2017

Sunset on Uncompahgre Peak from the East Fork of the Cimarron River.

Labor Day weekend was upon us again, which meant it was time for another backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness! This would be our fourth year in a row backpacking into the northern valleys of the wilderness area, starting with our Wetterhorn Basin (West Fork) trip back in 2014, then continuing with trips into Big Blue Creek and Fall Creek. Earlier this summer we were also able to go on a quick overnighter along the Little Cimarron River to make up for our failed loop last year. With only two remaining major valleys left, we planned to combine the East Fork and the Middle Fork of the Cimarron River into a two night trip that I’ve called The Cimarron Loop.

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Saturday & Sunday, August 12-13, 2017

The Devil’s Chair of Lone Cone at sunrise as I stopped at an overlook on my way to the summit.

For years I’ve explored southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah and during that time I’ve seen Lone Cone (12,613) on the horizon from all different angles. It’s the westernmost peak in the San Juan Mountains and is easily identified from a hundred miles away. During that time I’ve always thought to myself that I really should make time to climb that peak one day. Well, that day has finally come…

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Friday & Saturday, August 11-12, 2017

Houghton Mountain during a beautiful sunset in the San Juan Mountains.

This weekend I headed down to the San Juan Mountains by myself to hike to the summit of a few mountains above the ghost town of Animas Forks near Mineral Point. I left after work on Friday afternoon and after a quick dinner in Montrose I drove over Red Mountain Pass to Silverton. From there I followed the Animas River to the base of Denver Hill (12,300) so I could go on a late evening hike to its summit. It was a short hike to the top, but it offered me some nice views of the surrounding mountains including Houghton Mountain (13,052), Seigal Mountain (13,274), Tuttle Mountain (13,203), Animas Forks Mountain (13,722), and Engineer Mountain (13,218). After hiking across the rolling tundra I reached PT 12340 which gave me a good overview of Mineral Point below and I caught a nice sunset on my way back to the Jeep.

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Saturday – Sunday, July 29-30, 2017

The Wheeler Geologic Area inside the La Garita Wilderness near Creede, Colorado.

After our hike to the summit of Culebra Peak in the morning, Diane and I started our drive back home from the San Luis Valley. However, we did not plan to arrive back home until Sunday afternoon since I hoped to finally try and visit the Wheeler Geologic Area in the La Garita Wilderness between South Fork and Creede. This location has been on my to-do list for a very long time, but since I never seem to get down this way often, especially with extra free time, I’ve never been able to make it happen before. This time I was determined to get there and spend the night nearby.

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