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Mount Bierstadt to Owl Creek Pass

Friday & Saturday, September 30 – October 1, 2016

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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Ouray Perimeter Trail

Saturday, June 18, 2016

After spending last Sunday hiking just outside of Ouray, Diane and I decided to head back again today for another hike near town. I’ve wanted to hike the Ouray Perimeter Trail for a while and though that this would be a good weekend to do it. While I’ve hiked bits and pieces of the loop before, since it connects up with other shorter trails in the area, I wanted to complete the entire loop in one shot. When doing a little research on the hike, I found out that they may have recently extended the trail to include part of the Twin Peaks trail that I had hiked last year. I couldn’t find any information about this new section online, so I was looking forward to checking it out.

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Twin Peaks

Saturday, June 13, 2015

This morning I drove down to Ouray so I could try and climb my first mountain summit of the year. After this weekend I’m going to be pretty busy for the rest of June and I didn’t want to wait until July to get into the mountains for the first time this year. Since I’m not in the best shape right now and the weather forecast was predicting that storms would move into the area late in the morning, I decided to hike to the top of Twin Peaks (10,798 feet), a famous Ouray landmark. There are currently two trails that will get you to the summit- a new trail and an old trail. The reason for this is because in the early 1980’s the Old Twin Peaks Trail was washed out by a major storm. To replace the old trail, a new connector from the Oak Creek Trail was built to bypass the washed out section. This trail is now known as the New Twin Peaks Trail. In 2004 the Ouray Trails Group reconstructed the old trail which now consists of over 300 steps and 1,300 feet of elevation gain within 1.2 miles. Apparently, the Forest Service won’t officially sanction the reconstructed trail because they consider it too steep, but it is back on the maps.

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Ouray Solstice Hiking

Upper Cascade Falls & Baldy Peak
Saturday & Sunday, June 21-22, 2014

This weekend for the summer solstice, Diane and I headed down to Ouray to get in a little hiking in the San Juan Mountains. Since there’s still a lot of snow up high and it would be our first time really hiking in the mountains this year, we decided to start with some lower elevation hikes close to town between 8,000 and 10,000 feet. When we arrived, we setup camp just above town in the Amphitheater Campground and then got started on our first hike up to the Upper Cascade Creek Falls and Chief Ouray Mine. The hike started out easy, but soon it quickly climbed over 1,000 feet up a series of switchbacks. First we reached the Upper Cascade Falls and took a few photos and then we crossed the creek and continued on to the remains of the Chief Ouray Mine located high above town.

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