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Tag: dawn

Medicine Bow Peak in the Snowy Range

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

After spending my first night at the Spruce Mountain Fire Lookout Tower I got up extra early on Wednesday morning so I could drive to the nearby Snowy Range and hike to the summit of Medicine Bow Peak, which at 12,013 feet is the highest peak in this small but spectacular subrange of the Medicine Bow Mountains. After leaving the Fire Tower, I dropped down into the Centennial Valley and then followed the Snowy Range Highway, which is also known as the Great Skyroad, up to the Lewis Lake Trailhead near Libby Flats. As I passed through the small town of Albany, I swear I saw a Ringtail Cat cross the road in front of my Jeep, but it was too dark out for me to be 100% certain. I arrived at Lewis Lake just in time to catch the pre-dawn alpenglow and then a beautiful sunrise, but as I was making my way to the shore of the lake I had to give wide berth to a couple of moose that were grazing right near the trailhead.

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Weminuche Wanderings: Lime Mesa to Overlook Point

Mountain View Crest of the Weminuche Wilderness
Friday – Saturday, August 26-27, 2022

Since I was going to be leaving after work on Monday afternoon for a weeklong trip into northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, I wanted to be home on Sunday to make sure that I was prepped and packed for the trip, so that left me with only one day this weekend to get out hiking. My plans for last weekend had been thwarted by stormy weather in the high country, so I decided to retry part of those plans with a short hike into the Weminuche Wilderness from the end of the road on Lime Mesa between Silverton and Durango. As usual, I left right from work on Friday afternoon and headed south on the Million Dollar Highway and was able to watch the most recent storm system clearing out as I drove over Red Mountain Pass, Molas Pass and Coal Bank Pass through the heart of the San Juan Mountains. After reaching the very northern tip of the Animas River Valley I headed up the Missionary Ridge Road in search of a campsite to spend the night.

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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 Arches of Mee Canyon II

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness: Bulwark Arch & Arete Arch
Saturday & Sunday, April 2-3, 2022

This weekend I needed to stay close to home since I’m going to be leaving on a trip to The Maze in a couple of days, so Diane and I decided to head out on a local overnight backpacking trip into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness to visit a couple more arches located on the benches high above Mee Canyon. We slept in a bit late on Saturday morning, had a good breakfast, and then drove up through Glade Park to the Knowles Canyon Trailhead in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. We shouldered our packs and followed the Knowles Canyon Trail for about a mile and then followed a maze of old roads to the rim of a western fork of Mee Canyon and set up camp on top of the ridge.

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Fremont Indian State Park in Clear Creek Canyon

Friday – Sunday, February 11-13, 2022

It’s been over ten years since I last visited Fremont Indian State Park (not counting speeding through on I-70 a couple times each year) and Diane had never stopped there before, so I thought we were overdue for a visit and decided to spend my birthday weekend there this year. It’s funny since the last time I spent a weekend at the park was also over my birthday weekend! Established in 1987, Fremont Indian State Park encompasses 1,200 acres of land within Clear Creek Canyon at the juncture of the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin and is nestled between the Tushar Mountains to the south and the Pahvant Range to the north. While planning the trip late last year I noticed that the park now has two cabins that are available to reserve in the Sam Stowe Campground, so I booked one of them so we could spend the weekend in a little more comfort than usual. We were looking forward to checking it out as we explored the rock art in the park for the weekend!

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