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Tag: san luis valley

Southern Sawatch: Antora Meadows & Windy Point

Friday, September 2, 2022

After spending the night next to the rushing waters of Willow Creek, I actually slept in past sunrise for a change since I had already climbed Parkview Mountain the evening before and had no other plans for first thing in the morning. Today I was going to be driving a couple hours to the very southern tip of the Sawatch Range where I had originally planned to spend the rest of the weekend. However, after driving south through Silverthorne, Leadville, Buena Vista and then over Poncha Pass to Bonanza, I just wasn’t feeling like I was into the trip anymore and decided I would probably be heading home later today instead.

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains: Hermit Pass Peaks

Rito Alto Peak & Hermit Peak | Saturday & Sunday, September 4-5, 2021

After spending the last couple days hiking high points in Arizona and New Mexico, it was now time to start heading back home through Colorado, but of course I planned to hike at least a couple more peaks on the way back! As I followed the Sangre de Cristo Mountains north out of New Mexico and into Colorado I thought it would be a good time to hike some peaks in that range since it’s been quite a while since I’ve spent any time there. Originally, I was considering continuing my quest of the The Four Sacred Mountains of the Navajo by hiking Blanca Peak, but didn’t think that would be a good place to find much solitude now, especially in the middle of a holiday weekend. I think I’ll save the last two Sacred Peaks for a little road trip next summer. Instead, I decided to head up the road to Hermit Pass near Westcliffe so I could not only hike some high 13ers, but also so I could drive up to a pass that I had never been to before. The road was not difficult or dangerous, but it was very bumpy, slow and annoying. I found a place to spend the night above Horseshoe Lake and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing at camp and watching the clouds move through the sky as sunset approached.

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The Serpent of The Sangres: Culebra Peak

Culebra Peak | Friday – Saturday, July 28-29, 2017

Last year after hiking my first 14er in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains I thought it would be nice to come back again this year for another one. After looking at my options earlier in the year I decided to try and get two permits to hike Culebra Peak (14,047) at the southern end of the range within Colorado. Culebra, which translates to serpent or snake in Spanish, is most likely named for the long snake-like ridge that leads up to its summit which is visible from the west. For those not familiar, Culebra Peak is the southernmost 14er in Colorado (only about 9 miles from the New Mexico border), the highest point in the Culebra Range, and is completely on private property which was originally part of a large Mexican Land Grant that dates back to 1844. This area of Colorado has a very unique and controversial history and I highly recommend that you check out this page on Summit Post to learn more about the timeline of this property. What pushed me over the edge to try for Culebra this year was the fact that the ranch it is located on has been for sale for a while and there is no guarantee the future owner of the property will continue to allow access. I figured that I’d like the opportunity to try and climb this peak now with it’s uncertain future.

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Backpacking The Great Sand Dunes

Friday – Sunday, June 2-4, 2017

This year I have been trying to cross things off my to-do list that have been on there for way too long. One of the items on my list that I have been looking at for a number of years was backpacking into The Great Sand Dunes. Earlier this year I decided that this was finally the year I was going to go for it! After some research it looked like June would be a good time to go. Even though Great Sand Dunes National Park is usually pretty busy in June since Medano Creek is typically at peak flow, I figured it wouldn’t matter much for us since we would be hiking and camping deeper in the dune field than most visitors go. Looking at my calendar, my only free weekend in June was the very first weekend (It’s going to be a busy month!), which was a little earlier than I would like to have gone, but since it was our only option that’s when we decided to go.

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Bonanza!

Colorado Adventure 2010 | Day 2
Thursday, August 26, 2010

“Boy, she’s a bonanza!”

Those were the words a prospector shouted two miles upstream from Bonanza. That’s how the town got its name….and Bonanza would be my destination for the second day of my adventure. This town’s population jumped quickly to around 5,000 in 1880, and those people left just as fast in 1890. I would be exploring the roads that they once traveled and would stop to check out the old mining relics along the way.

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