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Thread: Colorado Adventure 2009
08-09-2009, 09:40 PM #1
Colorado Adventure 2009
Foreward: I took a ton of photos on this trip, so this thread is going to become very picture heavy. You are warned if you are on a slow connection ;) I will be updating this thread as I have a chance to go through the photos. Enjoy!
I arrived back home yesterday after spending the last nine days exploring the backroads of Colorado. My original plan was to head out by myself, but it turned out that Amanda had a few vacation days she needed to take before the end of the month, so she ended up joining me for the first four days, and then again for the last two. Since she was with me for the first four days, we decided to make our base camp at Chalk Creek Campground in Nathrop. Our first day was spent driving from Grand Junction to Nathrop on a couple of different trails with a little pavement in between.....which ended up taking most of the daylight hours, even with an early start to the day.
Day 1: Grand Junction to Taylor Park
We started out by taking Kebler Pass over to Crested Butte. This is a nice easy road that offers some great views of the West Elk Mountains. I've driven this road a number of times, so we flew through it pretty quickly.
I did stop for an early morning photo
....and at the pass
After topping off my gas tank in Crested Butte, it was off to Taylor Park by way of the Reno Divide / Italian Creek trail.
Once we reached the Reno Divide (I opted to skip the 'old' Reno Divide section this trip and will save that for another time), we started our way down along Italian Creek towards Taylor Park.
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08-09-2009, 09:41 PM #2
08-09-2009, 09:42 PM #3
08-09-2009, 10:55 PM #4
Great start RandyDon't talk unless you can improve the silence.
The trout do not rise in the cemetery, so you better do your fishing while you are still alive. SGH
08-10-2009, 08:15 AM #5
It was gorgeous up there this weekend. We were camped near Tincup.
Rode Taylor pass to the top of Apsen mountain and had lunch with the rich and famous.
08-10-2009, 08:23 AM #6
08-10-2009, 08:29 AM #7
That is one rocky trail. Met some miserable two wheelers up there. Lot of people up here this weekend. One ATV driver threw off a passenger right in front of us. Nothing serious but scared a bunch of people.
SOrry we missed you up there. We rode it Saturday.
08-10-2009, 09:35 AM #8Originally Posted by RedMan
08-10-2009, 11:31 AM #9
Day 1: Taylor Park to Leadville
After arriving in Taylor Park, we could have easily driven over Cottonwood Pass and have been in Nathrop pretty quickly, but my goals were a little more ambitious for that first day ;) Instead we headed north towards Aspen via Taylor Pass.
This was the most difficult section on the trail.
Climbing up to the pass
08-10-2009, 11:32 AM #10
08-10-2009, 11:33 AM #11
08-10-2009, 12:04 PM #12
08-10-2009, 05:59 PM #13
Day 1: Mosquito Pass
After reaching Leadville via Hangerman Pass, there was still some daylight yet, and I felt like making the trek over Mosquito Pass....so we headed east on 7th St. and made our way towards the 13,185 foot pass.
Passed some old mining ruins along the way to the pass.
Headed towards Mosquito Pass.
Narrower road near the top.
08-10-2009, 06:00 PM #14
I liked the reflection in my windshield in this photo.
The mandatory photo of the sign.
Headed down towards Alma Junction.
Shadows growing long.
The sun hidden behind the mountain
A familiar name on old mining equipment at the North London Mill
Once we reached alma Junction, we hopped on the pavement and made our way to Nathrop. Surprisingly we made it to Chalk Creek Campground and got our tent and campsite setup just before it got completely dark out. It was a long first day, but we enjoyed it.
Day 2, to be continued...
08-11-2009, 11:22 AM #15
Day 2: Williams & Tomichi
Day two was another early start. I was looking forward to this day. The main reason for planning my trip in August this year was so that I could run Williams Pass (which is only open for the month of August each year), so that trail was first on the agenda.
Of course, I did need to stop in St. Elmo on our way to Williams Pass for a few photos ;)
...and I can't ever seem to drive by the Allie Belle without stopping for a photo, either!
...but I did finally make it to the trailhead for Williams Pass
The start of the trail in the trees
08-11-2009, 11:22 AM #16
08-11-2009, 11:22 AM #17
The final descent down to the Alpine Tunnel Road
Heading back over 'the palisades' on the Alpine Tunnel Road
After completing Williams Pass it was time for another trail that I have not been on before because the last two times I tried, there were snow drifts blocking the trail.....so we made our way over to the start of Tomichi Pass.
Narrow road up to the pass
08-11-2009, 11:23 AM #18
View of the Hancock Pass trail
Panoramic photo from Tomichi Pass
Click here for bigger version of the panoramic photo
Headed down the other side
Made a stop at Tomichi Cemetery
To be continued...
08-11-2009, 07:18 PM #19
Day 2: Marshall to Weston Pass
After finishing up Tomichi Pass at US Highway 50, we headed east a short ways towards Sargents and turned off to follow the old railroad grade over Marshall Pass.
Start of Marshall Pass
Easy road the whole way
An old foundation at the pass
We stopped and had some lunch up there
Headed back down to meet up with US Highway 285
We finished up earlier than planned, so we had plenty of time to check out a few more trails. We made our way north towards Fairplay to check out Browns and Breakneck Passes.
In the trees at the starts of Browns Pass
08-11-2009, 07:18 PM #20
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