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Tag: colorado

Lower Palisade Plunge & Palisade Rim Trails

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Well, you could say that 2024 has not started off on the right foot for me! On New Year’s Day I was planning on hiking in the Colorado National Monument to start off the new year right, but when I went to leave early in the morning my Jeep wouldn’t start. I was pretty positive that it wasn’t the battery and could hear that the engine was making a loud knocking sound as it was trying to turn over, so my heart sank as I realized there was most likely something wrong internally to the engine. So much for my first hike of the year! Later in the day when it warmed up a bit outside I made sure the battery was good and that there wasn’t something simple wrong, and then I had my Jeep towed over to the dealership so it could be looked at. Luckily, my Jeep is still just barely covered under the Powertrain Warranty. Anyway, since my Jeep is still waiting to be diagnosed I was stuck at home this weekend, but was able to borrow Diane’s car on Saturday morning so I could at least go on a local hike. I was hoping to get in a hike with some elevation gain as training for a longer upcoming hike later this month, so I decided to give the lower Palisade Plunge Trail a try. The last time I had hiked the nearby Palisade Rim Trail the Plunge Trail didn’t even exist, so this would be all new terrain for me.

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The Jackson Guard Station at Silver Jack Reservoir

New Years Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, December 30-31, 2023

For the final weekend of 2023 Diane and I headed over to the northern end of the San Juan Mountains near the edge of the Uncompahgre Wilderness so we could snowshoe the road along the Cimarron River and spend a night at the Jackson Guard Station, which is located near the popular Silver Jack Reservoir. This historic cabin was originally used as a Forest Service Guard Station and housed Forest Service work crews. We left home on Saturday morning, drove south to Montrose then east over the Cerro Summit and soon arrived at the trailhead where we started hiking up the snow-covered road. Although we were planning for this to be a snowshoe trip, there really wasn’t very much snow on the ground yet and there were snowmobile tracks on the road to follow, so we ended up not needing to use our snowshoes for the hike.

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Kokopelli Loops: Troy Built Loop to Salt Creek

After Work Adventures | Thursday & Tuesday, November 16 & 21, 2023

After hiking the Lion’s Loop Trail to its junction with the Troy Built Loop on Tuesday, I thought it might be a good idea to return to the Kokopelli Loops after work on Thursday afternoon so I could finish hiking the Troy Built Trail, especially since a storm had just moved through the area earlier in the day and left some nice clouds in the sky. I thought that there had been enough time for the road to the top of Mack Ridge to dry out, but as I started driving up it I quickly found out that it was still muddy and slick in places, so I turned around and decided to hike a shorter section of the Troy Built Trail from its northern end near I-70. Thankfully, this northern portion of the trail had already dried out and wasn’t muddy, since hiking on muddy trails is not looked upon too kindly by the mountain bikers who mostly ride these trails.

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Kokopelli Loops: Lion’s Loop to Troy Built Loop

After Work Adventures | Tuesday, November 14, 2023

After work this afternoon I returned for the third straight week in a row to the Kokopelli Loops on Mack Ridge so I could hike yet another section of the Kokopelli Trail. This time I started out from the Lions Trailhead between Loma and Mack and followed the Lion’s Loop Trail for about three miles to it’s junction with the Troy Built Trail and then returned the way I had come. This trail followed a bench above the Colorado River in Horsethief Canyon which offered some nice views along the way, especially at sunset. The hike ended up being about 6 miles in length and I returned to my Jeep just as the sun was setting for the day, so I was able to squeeze it all in before darkness set in. Here are a couple photos from the short hike.

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Kokopelli Loops: Wrangler Loop & Mary’s Loop

After Work Adventures | Tuesday, November 7, 2023

After hiking the western ends of Mary’s Loop and the Wrangler Trail last week on Halloween, I returned to the Kokopelli Loops right after work today so I could finish hiking the eastern ends of both of those trails. Even though we just had the Daylight Savings Time change over the weekend and afternoon sunlight would be limited, I figured that this loop would be short enough and I would be able to squeeze it in before sunset. I started my hike near the Kokopelli Trailhead and followed the Wrangler Loop to the point I had hiked to last week and then returned down Mary’s Loop to complete the loop. Even though it was a bit windy this afternoon, the clouds and light were a lot nicer than during my hike last week and I enjoyed the views along the way. In the end, the loop was just over 5.5 miles and I returned to my Jeep shortly before sunset, so the timing was perfect.

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