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Tag: dusk

Realm of Rock: Elephant Hill to The Grabens

A Last Minute Trip into The Needles | Friday – Sunday, October 14-16, 2022

This weekend Jackson and I had made plans to go camping and hiking together but we were having trouble deciding where to go and running out of time, especially during this busy Fall Break weekend in southern Utah. On a whim Thursday afternoon we looked to see what campsites were still available in Canyonlands National Park and found that the New Bates Wilson site was open, so I booked it and quickly made last minute plans for us to head into The Needles. To get to the New Bates Wilson campsite we would have to drive over Elephant Hill, so this would also be a great opportunity for me to finally get my new Jeep on a real trail.

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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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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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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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Mestaa’ėhehe Mountain Fire Lookout

Formerly the Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout | Saturday & Sunday, January 29-30, 2022

Over the past couple of years I have been trying to visit at least one new Fire Lookout each year, so I thought I would get an early start this year when I booked a night in the Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout near Idaho Springs this past October. This unique structure was constructed of native granite by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1940’s and is situated on top of Squaw Mountain at about 11,500 feet. The cab measures 14 X 14 feet, is completely lined by windows on each side and is surrounded by a catwalk, which all sits on top of the one story stone base. Back in December Squaw Mountain was officially renamed to Mestaa’ėhehe Mountain (pronounced mess-taw-HAY) by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, so now the name of the lookout has also changed to match. I had actually wanted to book a night at this fire lookout for the past two years but it has been closed through the end of 2021 due to COVID, so when I noticed they had finally started accepting reservations again for 2022 I quickly booked a night over the last weekend in January!

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