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Piñon Mesa Fall Colors

Fall Colors 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

After work, Diane and I headed up to Piñon Mesa near Glade Park to see how the fall colors were coming along up there. I had actually only been up to this area once before, many years ago, so I wasn’t too familiar with the area. I have heard that it might be a good spot for fall colors close to home and have wanted to get up there in the fall for many years, so it was time to finally do it. While there was still quite a bit of green around, there were also nice patches of yellow aspen trees and even some reds and oranges, too.

Following a two-track near Mud Spring.

Fall Two-Track by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The yellow leaves in the background were really glowing.

Glow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A beautiful fall scene near Fruita Reservoir #3

Piñon Mesa Colors by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice colors along Ms Road.

Ms Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After years of seeing Piñon Mesa high above on the distant horizon when driving back home from Utah, I have always thought about hiking to the top of that high point. Since we were going to be in the area, I thought this evening might be a good time to do that. We followed a few side roads and got as close as we could to the high point in my Jeep. Then we parked at the intersection with the Ridge Trail, since it only allowed hiking, horses, mountain bikes and ATVs, and started hiking the rest of the way. We followed the Ridge Trail over the Lobe (9,644 feet) and then left the trail and followed some game trails through the aspen forest to reach the high point.

When we hiked up along the ridge, we were able to see the La Sal Mountains in Utah with plenty of nice fall colors below.

La Sal View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Color Blanket by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Yellow aspen along the ridge.

Yellow Trees by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Unfortunately, less than a quarter mile and just over 50 feet of elevation from the high point we came across a barbed wire fence with no trespassing signs. The high point is on private property and is posted closed, so this is as close as we were able to get.

As close as we were able to get to the Piñon Mesa High Point (9,700 feet).

Not Quite by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Hiking back along the Ridge Trail.

Ridge Trail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Another view of the La Sal’s in the distance and even a faint outline of the Abajo Mountains.

Ridge View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Unaweep Canyon to the south.

Unaweep View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Evening light across the top of the trees below shortly before sunset.

Evening Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Even though we didn’t quite make it quite to the Piñon Mesa High Point, I’m glad we hiked the Ridge Trail since there were plenty of nice fall colors along the way and the ridge offered great views over Unaweep Canyon and towards the La Sal Mountains and Abajo Mountains in Utah. It really was a nice evening fall hike. We made it back to the Jeep just before sunset and drove back down from Piñon Mesa towards Glade Park as the Earth’s shadow moved across the sky above us.

Very warm light strikes these trees along the road before disappearing for the night.

Warm Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Driving down off of Piñon Mesa under the Earth shadow.

Heading Home by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Piñon Mesa Fall Colors Photo Gallery

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