Amanda had to work on the Fourth of July Weekend so I was on my own to find something to do. It was getting pretty hot in the desert, so I decided to take a break from searching for rock art and head up into the mountains. There weren’t too many roads open yet because of the snow still up in the high country, but there were enough to keep me occupied for the weekend. I decided to head south to the San Juan Mountains and take my time exploring along the Alpine Loop. After passing through Ouray I took a left and followed the Uncompahgre River and Mineral Creek up towards Engineer Pass.
A small waterfall along the road.
Jeep Over Poughkeepsie Gulch
Looking over my Jeep into Poughkeepsie Gulch.
Along Mineral Creek and just past Mineral Point.
Plenty of snow below Engineer Pass.
View down Palmetto Gulch on the other side of Engineer Pass.
Keeping the San Juans Open
If it weren’t for these, many of the roads I drove this weekend still wouldn’t be open…
I stopped and hiked down to Whitmore Falls along the way.
August 27, 2010
Gold was discovered in the Summitville area in 1870. The town at one time had a population of more than 1,500 and 2,500 mining claims were staked. At 11,200 feet on South Mountain, Summitville was once the highest major gold camp in Colorado. By 1889 there were only about 25 residents left in town. This would be my main destination for the day….but first I would have to get there.
Since I was camped just off of the Clover Creek trail, I finished up that trail and made my way back through Bonanza before heading up and over Ute Pass (9,944 feet).
Coming down from Ute Pass, overlooking the Cochetopa Hills
I reached CO 114 again just outside of Saguache and then headed east, where I picked up the Carnero Pass Road.
Headed south from Carnero Pass
Once I reached La Garita, I followed another dirt road further south to Del Norte. I fueled up and then headed towards Summitville along Pinos Creek.
I took a short spur trail to the summit of Grayback Mountain along the way
Since I had Monday off from work and Amanda had to work I decided to head down to the San Juans for a little day trip. My destination was part of the Alpine Loop and my goals were to find a few geocaches along the way and get a little hiking in.
After passing through Ouray, I turned off of the Million Dollar Highway at the Mineral Creek trail and started climbing.
As usual, I stopped at the Mickey Breen mine.
The view up into Poughkeepsie Gulch
I also stopped at Mineral Point to take a few photos
Well, it’s just about that time of the year again. It’s the part of the year that I start transitioning away from the deserts of Southern Utah and start to concentrate on the mountains of Colorado. The last time I was up in the San Juans was when I went snowshoeing back in January. I had heard that some of the passes around the San Juan Triangle have been starting to open, so on Saturday we decided to head on down there and see just what the conditions were. We found that the snow has been melting fast this year, and there were a lot more trails open than I had anticipated.
On our way to Silverton, we took the scenic side trip through the Red Mountain Mining District.
Red Mountain Creek
I was on my own to find something to do on Saturday, so I hopped in my Jeep and headed north a little ways to Canyon Pintado to visit a few sites I didn’t make it to the last time I was there.
My first stop was at East Four Mile Draw where I would find the Sun Dagger pictograph.
Then I hiked to some petroglyphs nearby.