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Tag: wilderness

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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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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Telescope Peak: Towering Above Death Valley

Highpoint of the Panamint Range & Death Valley National Park
Friday & Saturday, July 15-16, 2022

For the past couple of years I have been trying to make plans to hike Telescope Peak, the highest peak in Death Valley National Park, but so far all of those plans had fallen through for one reason or another. However, now that I was in California for the past week, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for me to finally make it there, although I was a little worried about hiking the peak after spending five days at sea level because it’s been a long time since I’ve been down at this low of an elevation. So, after spending way too much time around way too many people in San Diego this past week, I definitely needed to get back out on a long hike into the wilderness to decompress, so I made sure to take a detour into Death Valley National Park as I started my drive back home to Colorado!

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Griffith Peak in the Spring Mountains

Saturday & Sunday, July 9-10, 2022

After spending Saturday morning hiking in the Tushar Mountains it was time to continue on the next leg of my journey to San Diego with a hike in the Spring Mountains just west of Las Vegas. I grabbed an early dinner in town and then drove up Kyle Canyon to the small mountain town of Mount Charleston to get a feel for the area and figure out the camping situation. I checked out the trailheads in the area so I knew where I’d be going early on Sunday morning in the dark and then drove further north on the Deer Creek Highway to hopefully find some dispersed camping since all the campgrounds near the trailhead were full, which was no surprise. Luckily, the first side road I headed down appeared to be a popular dispersed camping area and I found a nice site that was unoccupied. The campsite was located at about 7,600 feet and the temperature in the shade was very comfortable. I read a book and listened to podcasts for a while and then went to bed early so I could get an extra early start on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, since the area was obviously a popular camping area, there were a lot of loud people nearby late into the night, so I’m glad I had my earplugs with me…

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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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