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Tag: wildhorse peak

The Dragon’s Back

Saturday & Sunday, July 25-26, 2015

This weekend Diane and I went on an overnight backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains to explore and photograph the area around Unnamed Peak 12968, which is unofficially known as the Dragon’s Back. I have wanted to visit this area for a few years and had planned to finally get there sometime this summer, so I’ve been waiting for the right weather forecast on a weekend when I was also free. With the wet and stormy weather we’ve been having around here lately, this proved to be a challenge. Finally, we had some drier air move into the area and this weekend looked like it would be mostly storm free and might still have good conditions for photography. It turned out to be a great weekend for this trip and I couldn’t have asked for a better sunset on Saturday evening!

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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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Handies Peak II

Saturday & Sunday, August 16-17, 2014

Diane has been hiking in the mountains with me all summer and was finally ready to try climbing her first 14er. She left the decision of which 14er we would climb up to me, so I decided we would hike up Handies Peak in the San Juan Mountains. Handies Peak was my first 14er back in 2010, so I knew it would be a good one to start out on. It’s also one of the easier hikes at 2.9 miles in length (one way) with 2,500 feet of elevation gain. She has hiked longer trails with more elevation gain with me before, so I was confident she would make it to the top. Since Handies was my first, I was also looking forward to climbing it again to see how much easier it would be for me the second time around. Plus I was looking forward to getting an earlier start this time so I could watch the sunrise with a better camera from near the top.

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Bear Creek & Bridge of Heaven

Saturday & Sunday, July 26-27, 2014

After staying up late on Friday night to catch a concert in Grand Junction, we slept in a little later on Saturday morning before driving down to Ouray to get some hiking in for the weekend. The plan was to hike two trails that have been on my list for a number of years. I have planned to hike both of these trails on previous occasions, but something has always come up and prevented me from doing so. We started out by hiking the Bear Creek Trail just outside of Ouray along the Million Dollar Highway. I did manage to hike a short section of this trail a few years back, but was short on time and didn’t get very far. This time we were planning on hiking to the Grizzly Bear Mine and back since we started later in the morning and knew the afternoon storms would be moving in soon.

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