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Tag: west elks

A Taste of Autumn in the West Elks

Fall Colors 2018 | Friday & Saturday, September 28-29, 2018

Aside from a quick unplanned evening on the Grand Mesa almost two weeks ago, my schedule at the end of September and early October didn’t really leave me much time for a proper Fall Colors weekend photography trip since I had a must-attend concert in Salt Lake City on Sunday evening and a river trip through Labyrinth Canyon the weekend before. Even with all the preparations for an upcoming week-long adventure into Utah I did manage to get out for a quick overnight trip to the West Elk Mountains after work on Friday. I just hoped that there was some color around for me to photograph during this narrow window of time in the mountains!

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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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Gunnison River: Confluence Park to Escalante Canyon

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Over a month ago I planned a river trip with Jackson and Chris so we could check out a new section of the lower Gunnison River starting at Confluence Park in Delta to the takeout at Escalante Canyon. We had originally planned on going Saturday, but because of a late-season winter storm that came through the area at the end of the week, which really brought down the temperature, we pushed it back to Sunday and hoped it would warm up a little. With the change of plans, Diane and I went hiking in the Gunnison Gorge on the Chukar Trail on Saturday instead.

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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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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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