Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Red Mountain Hike and Ride 8/28/2015

I'd been doing quite a bit of hiking and decided it was time to warm up the ATV and combine a little hike and ride.  So, I headed up on Corkscrew Pass.  There's a road to the south at the top of the pass that goes down to a small parking area.  From there you can hike up a couple of the Red Mountains. It's still hazy due to the wildfires up in the northwest, so the photos are not the greatest.

View from the pass looking east.

View from the beginning of the hike.  There are mine remains all over this area.  There are only faint trails in the area.  It's sometimes difficult picking a route as some are easier than others.

Somewhat hazy horizon looking to the north toward Ouray and Montrose.

I was really surprised to still find some Columbines up here.

Headed up to the first summit.  This is looking back down on the Corkscrew Pass road.  There's a vehicle on one of the switchbacks.

Stunning views from the first summit.  Ironton Park and Crystal Lake are vaguely visible in the center of the picture.

After dropping to the "spine" between the mountains I could see a Jeep tour vehicle on the top of the Red Mountain where I was headed.  What fun is that?

Walking across the narrow ridge between the two mountains.  It's very narrow in spots and loose enough that a lot of caution is needed.  It's a long slide to the bottom.

Another shot on the ridge.  The Gopro wide angle exaggerates it a bit.  But, it's still narrow and steep on both sides.

Nice views across the valley.  Mount Sneffels is front and center in the background.  This San Juan landscape always amazes me in how rugged it is.  It's both a chore and a pleasure to hike these mountains.  It cleanses the lungs and the soul.

Lots of iron in these hills.  Plenty of sulphur too.  There were vent holes that I went by that were very strong with the smell of rotten eggs.  Upper right is Corkscrew Pass.  My ATV is just off the upper right out of the picture.  The lower summit I first climbed is blocking the view of most of the Corkscrew road.  To get back to my ATV it's back down the ridges between the mountains.

Sorry, I couldn't help another Colorado columbine shot with multiple layers of San Juan landscape.

After returning to my ATV, I decided to take a ride on down the other side of the pass to get out of the wind.  It was howling all day.  On the way down I could see the site of the Gold King Mine EPA cleanup disaster that inundated the Animas River with mine chemicals.  There's still a lot of activity down there and will be for some time to come.  The flow area is plainly visible.

Headed back down the pass to my pickup.  I never can get enough of being out in this country.

Parting shot on the way down.  Another great day in God's creation!