Tagged: sneffels range

Whipple Mountain & Last Dollar Mountain
Independence Day | Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Diane hikes through a hillside of lupine as we descend the Whipple Mountain Trail.

This year for Independence Day Diane and I woke up early and drove down to the west end of the Sneffels Range near Telluride to climb a couple of mountains just off the Last Dollar Road. We started out by hiking up the Whipple Trail to the summit of Whipple Mountain (11,922) which was about 1.5 miles in length with 1,500 feet of elevation gain. It was mostly up an easy trail lined with wildflowers and then the last section from the saddle to the summit was on a faint track through a forest where the mosquitoes were pretty terrible. We enjoyed the view from the summit over toward Wilson Peak, El Diente Peak, and Lizard Head for a little bit and then hiked back down to the trailhead.

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hesperus Mountain is an impressive sight over the Twin Lakes in the La Plata Mountains.

I had set my alarm for 5:00am this morning, but when it went off I looked outside and didn’t see any clouds, so I went back to sleep since I was still pretty tired from the previous day. I ended up waking up again just after 6:00am and realized that I might have enough time to make it over to the Dallas Divide to catch the sunrise. I quickly got ready and was soon driving through Ridgway on my way to the divide. I reached the parking area just in time and found that it was a pretty popular place this morning. I parked my Jeep, got out and took a few quick photos and then left a few minutes later. I didn’t stick around very long, maybe 10-15 minutes at the most. There were just too many people for me and the conditions weren’t anything special this morning.

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Friday & Saturday, September 30 – October 1, 2016

Ending the long day with a spectacular sunset above Owl Creek Pass in the San Juan Mountains.

I left right after work on Friday afternoon to begin my annual week-long October trip. Typically, I spend the entire week on the Colorado Plateau in southern Utah or northern Arizona, but this year I decided to spend the first couple of days in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to try and make up for my lack of climbing mountains over the summer and maybe photograph some of the leftover fall colors. I wanted to try and get one more 14er in this year and Mount Bierstadt (14,060) in the Front Range sounded like a good easy option to start with. After leaving work I made my way over to Dillon for dinner and then finished the drive on I-70 to Georgetown where I followed the road up to Guanella Pass. I found a spot to camp and pretty much fell right asleep so I could get an early start the following morning.

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Saturday & Sunday, July 9-10, 2016

Mount Sneffels (14,157) towers above Wilson Creek in Blaine Basin after sunset.

Since Diane and I won’t be able to get back into the outdoors for the rest of the month I wanted to do a quick and easy overnight backpacking trip in the mountains this weekend. I was looking for something close to home that wouldn’t be crowded and thought that Blaine Basin in the Sneffels Range of the San Juan Mountains would be a good option. We left home later than usual on Saturday morning and arrived at the Blue Lakes Trailhead around 11am. I was blown away by how many vehicles were at the trailhead! It was crazy! There were cars lined up and down the road pulled over any place they could find to park. At this point I was second guessing the trip because I wasn’t convinced that all of these people were headed to the Blue Lakes?

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Painted Wall and the Gunnison River shortly before sunrise.

It’s been a few years since I had been to many of the main overlooks along the South Rim in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and I thought it was time to finally get back for another visit. Diane and I left home early enough on Saturday morning so that we were able to make it to the Cedar Point overlook about a half hour before the sun came up. I spent that time photographing The Painted Wall and the deep canyon below us until shortly after the sunrise. Once the sun was up we drove the rest of the way to the end of the road and hiked out to Warner Point since I had never been out there before. Clouds started rolling in from the west as we hiked back to the trailhead as a storm front moved into the area that was supposed to bring us some rain for the next couple of days. After our hike, we drove back out of the park and stopped at a couple of the other viewpoints along the way. Before leaving we drove down the East Portal Road to the Crystal Dam on the Gunnison River and were pleasantly surprised to find a couple nice patches of fall colors along the way. It’s always nice to spend a few hours along the rim of The Black Canyon.

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