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Friday, August 26, 2016

Black Canyon of the Gunnison - North Rim

Between Gunnison and Cimmaron off Hwy 50; take highway 92 for a scenic drive. We are following the north rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison, but it is also part of the West Elk Scenic Loop...we are just  doing half of the loop.
Crossing over Blue Mesa Reservoir

The park service operates a boat ride down this section of the river; you have to walk down 200 plus steps to get to the boat which isn't too bad until you remember you have to come up those :)  It would be a great way to see the canyon for 24 bucks, not a bad deal


and the road curves this way then that way
 There were two trails we saw that you could go from the rim to the river...quite an elevation change and realizing you have to come back up...well, we crossed it off the list.  For those in good shape...it is 4 miles down with a 900 ft elevation change, now remember, you would have to come back up!






Yep, not walking down that !  Think the boat ride would be a better option :)




Morrow Dam overlook--breathtaking!  Those are the San Juan Mountains in the background.  A bit of fall color in the oak shrubs up here.















Leaving the canyon and coming into the town of Crawford there is an interesting rock called called Needle Point







The countryside of Crawford...
Time for lunch at Crawford State Park

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Black Canyon of the Gunnison- South Rim

We are doing the south rim of the canyon today
You pretty much have to be a professional photographer to capture this, which we are not...but maybe you will get the feeling of this place, or you may just have to visit it yourself.

Along the south rim there are several vista points that bring you fantastic views of the view; click to enlarge picture.  The national park did an excellent job on these vista points


That is the Gunnison River
You can get really close; at times it felt a little surreal, but we figured the park service checks these overlooks frequently to make sure they are safe :)




There are 13 overlooks; this one was the scariest





The South Rim drive is breathtaking and very unique in its beauty. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Blaine Basin Hike - Ridgway ,Colorado

headed toward the mountains around Ouray on a back road


what a pretty day
The view along Colorado County Road 7 by the Dallas Divide about 8 miles from Ridgway



map at the trail head
two main options; our trail book says the left trail is an easy gentle  2.5 mile hike one way with a few difficult spots; the trails to the right are considered very difficult and over five miles one way...so left we go :)  The right trail goes to Yankee Boy Basin area and the Blue Lakes, we had already gone there on a 4 wheel drive trip--it is one of the prettiest places we have ever seen.  Thank god we do not have take the 12 miles round trip to see it :)


still some pretty wildflowers

Wilson Creek intersects the trail quite often

there are three crossings over the creek

Distant waterfall; we sat here on a log and had our lunch



another one of the log crossings; at least they leveled out the top of the log, so it was fairly easy


up to the third log crossing, it was a good hike

After that , the hike gets really difficult for the next mile

it is a tough climb at a high altitude with slippery footing on the rocks and gravel
the views are pretty but the air is thin up here

in the distance you can see our destination; several times we wondered if we were going to get there


Rain clouds are forming and our bodies are aching like never before...time to go back down.  Tough hike; would we recommend it...hmmm if you are in top shape and high altitudes don't leave you breathless...your call. When we returned to our home base, we found the elevation gain was over 1,500 ft...that was exhausting!




Friday, August 19, 2016

Driving from Ouray to Silverton - Red Mountain Pass

Headed up Red Mountain Pass from Ouray ; a lot of interesting hikes along 550



A stop at an overlook gives you a view of Bear Creek Falls

yep, that is the road in some places


there are some amazing views
looks like it does a good job protecting the road from slides

not the safest roadway in Colorado





some of the road meanders through beautiful parks

part of the red mountain range...too bad clouds are already moving in; there are a lot of old mining towns up near the summit; we explored one called irontown which was quite interesting--maybe a future blog





headed down towards silverton now and does not look like the weather will hold
the long and winding road...