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Flat Tops for the Fourth: Wall Lake & Trappers Peak

Headwaters of the White River | The Flat Tops Wilderness of the White River Plateau
Independence Day Weekend | Friday – Saturday, July 3-4, 2020

After spending the last couple of weekends on the river it was finally time to start heading up into Colorado’s high country for the short summer season! This weekend Diane and I decided to head up to visit the headwaters of the White River in the Flat Tops Wilderness, where I hoped we could find a little solitude over this popular and busy holiday weekend. Although I’ve gone on a few day hikes into the Flat Tops Wilderness before, this would actually be our first backpacking trip into Colorado’s third largest wilderness area and I was looking forward to it!

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Hermits Rest Trail to the Morrow Point Reservoir

Cimarron Point into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison | Curecanti National Recreation Area
Saturday & Sunday, June 13-14, 2020

The next couple of weeks are about to get pretty busy for us since we will be moving into a new house, but I wanted to try to get one more quick overnight backpacking trip in before that happens. Since we still had a lot to do at home, I was looking for something easier and close to home where I didn’t think we would run into many people. After looking over some maps, I thought it would be nice to camp along the shore of the Morrow Point Reservoir in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison at the bottom of the Hermits Rest Trail. I couldn’t find very much information about this hike online, so I figured it probably wouldn’t be too busy. Although I’ve driven through the Curecanti National Recreation Area many times on Highway 50 between Montrose and Gunnison, I have never really spent any time there and thought it was about time we finally did some hiking there. Plus, with the daily boat tours currently not operating because of COVID-19, I knew there wouldn’t be any motorized traffic on the reservoir either.

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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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Hondu Country: Upper Muddy Creek Gorge

Tomsich Butte to Poor Canyon, Road Hollow to Fix-It Pass & Slipper Arch
Friday & Saturday, May 1-2, 2020

I was originally supposed to be in the San Rafael Swell this weekend for an event that was cancelled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but since most of Utah, including Emery County, was open to camping again I decided to still head into the Swell so I could spend Saturday hiking and exploring more of the Muddy Creek Wilderness. I’ve gone on a couple of great trips along the Muddy Creek over the past few years and have been looking forward to getting back there again. This time I planned to hike into the Upper Gorge of Muddy Creek from Tomsich Butte and then continue into Poor Canyon as far as I could go. I was hoping that Poor Canyon would share some of the same amazing features that the forks of Chimney Canyon do, and I wasn’t disappointed!

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Destined To Fail: A Failed Attempt at Longs Peak

Friday – Monday, September 6-9, 2019

I took a day off from work to climb Longs Peak, but all I climbed this weekend was Cupid (13,117). Earlier this year when I was making plans that required permits in advance, climbing Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park with an overnight stay in the Boulderfield was near the top of my list. While I know that many people climb Longs Peak in a long day, that is not the experience I was looking for and I was looking forward to spending a night in the Boulderfield before the climb. I was able to secure a permit back in March for this Sunday night and had hoped that this popular route wouldn’t be too crowded on a Monday in early September after Labor Day. Since I was unsure about my climbing ability and the exposure along this route, I invited my friend Jackson and his fiance Amy along to join me on this trip because I know that Jackson likes to climb and scramble. Unfortunately, this would not end up being my year to climb Longs Peak. Not only were we unable to make it to the Boulderfield on Sunday because of the weather, but even if we had made it up there I know that I would not have been able to climb the Keyhole Route on Monday morning since there was snow overnight and the route was covered in ice. I guess winter in the high country has arrived! Maybe I’ll give it another shot next summer…

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