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Tag: 11ers

The Summertime Blues: Hiking the Abajo Mountains

Three Directions in the Blue Mountains | Friday – Sunday, August 5-7, 2022

This past week I had been struggling to decide where I wanted to go this weekend as I continually watched the weather forecasts for the mountains since all of them were calling for a large monsoonal surge to enter Colorado which was supposed to create a lot of rain and thunderstorms throughout the high country of the state. On Thursday I decided to look outside of Colorado to the Abajo Mountains, locally known as the Blue Mountains, which had a much milder weather outlook for the weekend, so that’s where I decided to go. As luck would have it, on Friday all the weather forecasters changed their tune about the stormy weather in Colorado for the weekend, but by then I had already set my mind on heading up into the Abajos, plus it has been a while since I did any hiking in this small laccolithic range, so now I was looking forward to getting back!

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Telescope Peak: Towering Above Death Valley

Highpoint of the Panamint Range & Death Valley National Park
Friday & Saturday, July 15-16, 2022

For the past couple of years I have been trying to make plans to hike Telescope Peak, the highest peak in Death Valley National Park, but so far all of those plans had fallen through for one reason or another. However, now that I was in California for the past week, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for me to finally make it there, although I was a little worried about hiking the peak after spending five days at sea level because it’s been a long time since I’ve been down at this low of an elevation. So, after spending way too much time around way too many people in San Diego this past week, I definitely needed to get back out on a long hike into the wilderness to decompress, so I made sure to take a detour into Death Valley National Park as I started my drive back home to Colorado!

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Griffith Peak in the Spring Mountains

Saturday & Sunday, July 9-10, 2022

After spending Saturday morning hiking in the Tushar Mountains it was time to continue on the next leg of my journey to San Diego with a hike in the Spring Mountains just west of Las Vegas. I grabbed an early dinner in town and then drove up Kyle Canyon to the small mountain town of Mount Charleston to get a feel for the area and figure out the camping situation. I checked out the trailheads in the area so I knew where I’d be going early on Sunday morning in the dark and then drove further north on the Deer Creek Highway to hopefully find some dispersed camping since all the campgrounds near the trailhead were full, which was no surprise. Luckily, the first side road I headed down appeared to be a popular dispersed camping area and I found a nice site that was unoccupied. The campsite was located at about 7,600 feet and the temperature in the shade was very comfortable. I read a book and listened to podcasts for a while and then went to bed early so I could get an extra early start on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, since the area was obviously a popular camping area, there were a lot of loud people nearby late into the night, so I’m glad I had my earplugs with me…

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High Mesas and Plateaus of Western Colorado

Flat Top Mountain, Blair Mountain and the Roan Plateau
Friday – Sunday, June 24-26, 2022

This weekend I planned to spend my time hiking and driving to a couple highpoints of the high mesas and plateaus of Western Colorado, starting with a hike I’ve been looking forward to for a while into the Flat Tops Wilderness on Saturday morning. I left after work on Friday afternoon, grabbed a quick dinner in Glenwood Springs and then followed the Colorado River to Dotsero and McCoy and then took Highway 131 north to Yampa. There were storms in the area this afternoon and I was a little worried that Glenwood Canyon might get closed by Flash Flood Warnings, which has been common lately, but thankfully that did not happen. Once I reached Yampa I started following the Bear River on my way to the Stillwater Reservoir, and turned off to take a side road up to Gardner Park to find a spot to camp for the night. I watched the sunset from the edge of the Gardner Park Reservoir and then went to bed early so I could get an early start on Saturday.

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The Crest of the Henry Mountains: Mount Ellen

Henry Mountains Peak Bagging | Friday – Sunday, June 17-19, 2022

After spending the last two weekends on the river, it was time for me to start off my summer season up in the mountains since it’s been getting pretty warm down in the desert. For the past couple of years I have started my mountain season in the La Sal Mountains, but this time I decided to change things up and spend the weekend in the Henry Mountains instead since I haven’t spent any real time in that range for quite some time and I’ve been wanting to get back. This time I invited my friend Jared along, and even though I warned him I would probably be hiking very slow this weekend since I haven’t done much real hiking lately- especially at elevation, he still wanted to come along, so we planned to meet at Wickiup Pass after work on Friday evening.

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