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Tag: west elk mountains

Horse Ranch Park Loop

Friday – Saturday, June 15-16, 2018

This turned out to be one of those weekends where nothing seemed to work out as planned. I originally had plans of peak bagging in the Ruby Range near Crested Butte, but when I left work on Friday afternoon I already knew there was a good chance that I was probably going to get rained out by the remnants of Hurricane Bud. This tropical storm was going to be bringing some much needed moisture to the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains over the weekend. The weather forecast was predicting thunderstorms, high winds, heavy rain and even possible flash flooding. Even with the chance of storms high, I decided to head that direction anyway and see if I could at least squeeze in a little hiking or photography before the weather arrived. Little did I know at the time that my biggest problem was going to be road closures and not storms!

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Beckwith Pass

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Since I’ve spent the past two weekends visiting the San Juan Mountains near Ouray, Diane and I decided to make our way over to Kebler Pass today for a little hiking in the West Elk Mountains near Crested Butte. We started just outside of the Lost Lake Slough campground and hiked up the gentle trail to Beckwith Pass, which is a low pass between East Beckwith Mountain (12,432) and the Antracite Range. While the trail never broke 10,000 feet of elevation, there were plenty of clearings that offered great views of Ruby Peak (12,644) and Mount Owen (13,058) in the Ruby Range all the way to Marcellina Mountain (11,348) and The Raggeds. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this trail but the scenery was much better than I had anticipated, plus the wildflowers were just starting to bloom. We will definitely be back to check out some of the other trails in this area, especially in the fall when the colors are changing.

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The Black Canyon

Saturday, October 17, 2015

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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Castle & Conundrum

Friday & Saturday, August 14-15, 2015

I had originally planned to climb Castle and Conundrum Peaks last Sunday, but after getting a taste of altitude sickness for the first time on Saturday evening I had to cancel those plans and head home. Hoping that it was a one time thing, I decided to go back again this weekend and try again. I left after work on Friday afternoon and drove right to the trailhead with only one quick stop at Grind in Glenwood Springs for dinner. I wanted to camp lower on the Pearl Pass Road this time to try and prevent any issues with altitude sickness but found that all the designated sites were already taken when I drove by around 6:30pm. I kept driving up into Montezuma Basin hoping to find someplace lower to camp, but everything I passed was already occupied, even the spot I had setup camp at last weekend. Finally, I found a nice flat spot just below the Montezuma Mine at 12,300 and setup camp for the night. It was higher than I wanted to camp this time, but I really didn’t have any other options.

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Fall Colors in the Elk Mountains

Fall Colors 2014
Saturday & Sunday, September 27-28, 2014

Since we had seen some early fall colors in the San Juan Mountains last weekend, we decided to head over into the Elk Mountains this time to check on the fall colors there for my annual Fall Colors weekend. I planned to visit a few locations I have been to before and then try out a few new ones. We left early Saturday and took a late morning drive along Kebler Pass and over Ohio Pass before turning around and heading back out the same way. We then drove over McClure Pass and found a campsite along Prince Creek near Carbondale before continuing up along Capitol Creek to catch the sunset over Capitol Peak (14,130 feet).

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