The Crested Butte truck camp was our only July Colorado "camping" trip.  The goal was to hike in the vast wildflower fields that the 'Wildflower Capital of Colorado" is known for.  While it wasn't a very good year for the fields, we still saw a lot of wildflowers!

We spent both nights at the Oh Be Joyful Recreation Area parking lot.  Nice restrooms close by!  Good dinners in Crested Butte:  Secret Stash Pizza patio (a windy deluge rolled through but we managed to stay dry) and the Sherpa Cafe (temporary covid street "patio").  Third Bowl Homemade Ice Cream for dessert.

Sunny for both hikes.  Longer Monday hike of 8+ miles up Rustler's Gulch, a very pretty basin with lots of wildflowers, surrounded by mountains.  Several interesting stream crossings but we again managed to stay dry.  Shorter Tuesday morning hike of 4+ miles along Brush Creek with more wildflowers.

The first of three August truck camps was to the Lake City area.  Again, the main goal of this weekend was wildflowers, and American Basin is known for it's summer flower displays.  We were hoping it wasn't too late in the summer and it wasn't!

We spent the first night at the Cataract Gulch trailhead.  There were signs warning about bear activity but we didn't see any during our nighttime restroom visits!  Second night was at Spring Creek Pass south of Lake City at over 10,000 feet.  Sunday's early dinner on the way up was at Kip's Grill in Creede (soft taco plates).  Monday dinner in Lake City at the Packer Saloon and Cannibal Grill (there is a true story behind that name...).  And, of course, ice cream from the San Juan Soda Company.

On the way up on Sunday afternoon we visited two nice waterfalls just off the highway:  North and South Clear Creek falls.  Monday's American Basin hike had good weather and lots of wildflowers.  Not that long at 5 miles but very steep in places!  Turnaround point was beautiful Sloan Lake right under the 14er Handies Peak (we climbed that in 2009).  Tuesdays hike was on the Continental Divide Trail right from Spring Creek Pass.  Easy but not very picturesque.  Lots of dead trees from beetle kill.

Our second August Colorado trip was to the Silverton area.  Wildflower season was past but we still saw some here and there.  Our luck with the weather was still holding out.  On the way up on Sunday we did a little arch hunting around Aztec New Mexico.  It was quite hot, but the very nice arches were close to the dirt roads so short, quick walks.

We "camped" both nights at Little Molas Lake, a Continental Divide Trail trailhead (with restrooms) that we had stayed in several times before.  Sunday dinner was on the Steamworks Brewing Company's patio in Durango on the way up.  Monday night was pizza and salad at the Avalanche Brewery in Silverton.  All good food, good beer and good wine for Stef.

Main hike was to Porphyry Basin northwest of Silverton, a gorgeous high alpine lake district above treeline.  Once you get to the basin there are no trails to speak of, you just wander around.  6.5+ miles and a lot of vertical.  The surrounding mountains are menacing looking!  Our Tuesday morning hike was West on the Continental Divide Trail from the camp trailhead.  Easier so we actually hiked 7 miles on this "shorter" hike!

The third and final August Colorado trip was to the Leadville (again) and Buena Vista areas.  Main goal was a hike in the Missouri Lakes basin in the Holy Cross Wilderness north of Leadville.  It had been on Tom's radar for many years.  Weather still holding good for us, though it clouded up and slightly rained late on Monday.

We "camped" the first night at the Fancy Pass trailhead just outside the wilderness and the second night at the Colorado Trail Avalanche trailhead west of Buena Vista.  Nice restrooms at both.  On the way to Leadville we passed through Buena Vista and had dinner at the House Rock Kitchen patio:  great "bowls" (big platters with lots of salad, veggies, beans, a protein like brisket or salmon, etc).  Scrumptious!  The second dinner was our usual pizza and salad at High Mountain Pies in Leadville.  Long wait for one of the only two indoor tables (remember that rain?).

The Missouri Lakes Basin hike was gorgeous as usual.  Several high mountain lakes at or above treeline.  It was a bit windy so we didn't have lunch at the highest lake, coming back down to a lower lake more out of the wind.  The most interesting part of this hike was the quarter mile of trail that had been wiped out by a snow avalanche the year before.  Trees everywhere, snapped like matchsticks!  Luckily there was a social trail that went above and around the devastation.  Tuesday's hike was on the Colorado Trail to the Harvard Lakes, a shorter lower level hike to two lakes in the forest.  Ice cream of course at Louie's in Buena Vista on the drive home.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In