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Tag: west elks

Three Baldy Mountains in the West Elk Wilderness

Friday & Saturday, September 9-10, 2022

This weekend I needed to be home on Sunday to get prepared for an upcoming river trip, but I still wanted to make sure I got out into the mountains for a hike on Saturday morning. I was originally thinking about heading up into the San Juan Mountains somewhere, but the weather forecast for that part of the state wasn’t looking too good, so I had to look elsewhere for a more favorable forecast. After getting a little taste of the West Elk Wilderness on our failed backpacking trip last month, I decided to head back up into the West Elk Mountains this weekend to hike a couple ‘Baldy Mountains’ from the southern end the range. Since Diane and I had hiked though part of the very scenic Mill Creek valley last time, this time I wanted to stay high on the ridges above treeline for more expansive views of the area.

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West Elk Wilderness: Cut Short on the Mill-Castle Trail

Saturday, August 13, 2022

This weekend Diane was able to get away from her clinical rotations for a bit so she could go on an overnight backpacking trip with me into the West Elk Wilderness. We planned to take it easy by hiking up the Mill-Castle Trail along Mill Creek and thought that maybe we could make it up to the top of Storm Pass for an overlook of The Castles before returning the same way back to the trailhead. Unfortunately, this time we didn’t made it much further beyond the nice waterfall in Mill Creek and ended up turning this backpacking trip into a day hike. This was an amazingly scenic canyon and we both really enjoyed the shorter hike, so we will definitely need to return here again in the future!

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Roubideau Creek in the Camel Back Wilderness

The Edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau | Friday & Saturday, April 15-16, 2022

This weekend I needed to stay closer to home to get some work done on my Jeep and around the house, so I turned my attention to the Camel Back Wilderness Study Area at edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau between Delta and Montrose. Last spring I had planned to hike up Roubideau Creek after visiting the Devil’s Thumb, but the water was just too high at the time, so I thought I would give that hike another try on Saturday morning. After leaving work on Friday afternoon I drove to Delta and then followed some Jeep roads to the rim of Roubideau Canyon across from the Camel Back and watched the sunset. Besides having a great view over the canyon, I could also see the Grand Mesa, West Elks and Sneffels Range on the horizons from my vantage point.

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McCarty Bench: Escalante Canyon to Palmer Gulch

The Edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau: Dominguez Canyon Wilderness
Friday – Saturday, March 25-26, 2022

This weekend I needed to stay close to home since Diane and I had tickets to a pair of concerts in town, so I decided to do a little exploring in the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness at the edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau on Saturday morning. Since I wasn’t going to be travelling far, I stopped home for a little bit after work on Friday and then made my way over to Escalante Canyon to spend the night. After fording Escalante Creek I drove up the Escalante Rim Road and found a nice campsite right along the rim of the canyon. I arrived about an hour before sunset and was treated to a 360 degree view of the Grand Mesa, West Elks and Sneffels Range. Unfortunately, it is currently open burn season in the area, so there was a lot of smoke and haze in the air this evening. I took a couple of photos before sunset and then read for a while until I went to bed early.

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Highpoint of the Grand Mesa: Crater Peak

Goodenough Reservoir Peaks: Mount Darline & Mount Hatten
Friday & Saturday, September 24-25, 2021

After spending a few days on the Green River earlier in the week, I would be leaving for a full week of exploration on the Colorado Plateau this upcoming Friday, so this weekend would be my last opportunity to get into the high country for some peak-bagging to finish off the summer season. I needed this to be a quick trip near home so I could be back by Saturday afternoon to start preparing for the upcoming trip to southern Utah next week, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to hike to the highest point on the Grand Mesa. Although I have already hiked to the old fire lookout on Leon Peak (11,236), which is the highest point in Mesa County and located on the Grand Mesa, Crater Peak (11,327) in Delta County is actually the highest point on the Grand Mesa.

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