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Tag: west slope

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 Gunnison River: Redlands Dam to Dos Rios Park

The Grand Junction of the Gunnison River and Colorado River | Estimated CFS: 460
Summer Solstice | Tuesday, June 21, 2022

After floating part of the Gunnison River from Whitewater to the Redlands Dam with Jackson a little over a week ago, we knew that we would have to come back with our packrafts to float the short section from the Redlands Dam down to the confluence with the Colorado River since it’s one of the remaining few sections below Pleasure Park that neither of us had done yet. After figuring out a date that our schedules aligned, we planned the short float for today after work on the Summer Solstice. Since we didn’t have too much time in the evening, this needed to be a short float, so we planned to take-out at Dos Rios Park just below the confluence at a spot that Jackson had scouted the previous weekend. We left from work, dropped Jackson’s car off at Dos Rios and then took my Jeep down to the Redlands Dam where we inflated our packrafts and got on the river.

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The Gunnison River: Whitewater to Redlands Dam

Saturday, June 11, 2022 | Average CFS: 2,040

After spending much of the last two weeks out and about, it was time for me to stay closer to home for a weekend before heading up into the mountains to begin the summer season. I thought another local river trip was in order, so Jackson and I planned to float a new section of the Gunnison River from Whitewater to the Redlands Dam in Grand Junction. There’s not too much information out there about this stretch of the river, so we were looking forward to checking it out!

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The Gunnison River: Escalante Creek to Bridgeport

Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Average CFS: 2,635

This weekend I was looking to stay local and to get back on the river for the first time this season, so I made plans with my friend Jackson to float a section of the Gunnison River along the northeastern edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau from Escalante Creek to Bridgeport on Saturday morning- assuming the windy weather we’ve been having across the Southwest would cooperate! Although I have floated this section of the Gunnison River once before back in 2009, that time I tagged along with a friend in his raft and I really don’t remember much about the trip, so I was looking forward to getting back with my own inflatable kayak this time. In order to try to beat the wind, Jackson and his son Ken met me at my house early in the morning and transferred their gear into my Jeep. We then dropped Jackson’s car off at Bridgeport and headed over to the boat ramp at Escalante Creek. After inflating and rigging our kayaks, we were on the water shortly before 8:30am.

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Edna Mine & Devils Canyon Overlook

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness | Tuesday, April 19, 2022

I’ve really been slacking on my After Work Adventures for a while now and had really hoped to change that this spring, but so far I haven’t got out for one hike during the week this year. Well, that finally changed today when I left after work and headed back up into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness to search for the Edna Mine, which is an old Uranium mine found near the head of Devils Canyon that was active during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The temperature was into the low 80’s when I started hiking and the sky was pretty cloudy, but the strong winds helped keep me cool and the clouds started to open up a bit while I was exploring the mine, so it turned out to be a very pleasant afternoon for a hike.

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