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CO - San Juan Mts

Old 09-24-2004, 12:09 PM
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CO - San Juan Mts

I spent last week out in the San Juans of SW Colorado. Four solid days of trail riding and picture taking. It really was one of the best trips I've ever been on. The weather was perfect (60s days, 30s nights), with clear skies throughout. The Aspens had turned about 65-80% so get out there soon if your planning a trip this year.

The only complaint I'd have would be the rental Jeeps on the trails. While I'm far from being an expert, I know my vehicle and I know how to handle it. These rental Jeep drivers were mostly 50 somethings with their wives, driving WAY to slow, not allowing one to pass, or not yeilding to the traffic going up the mountain.

I ran the following trails over 4 days:

Old Monarch Pass
Owl Creek Pass
Yankee Boy Basin
Cinnamon Pass
Ophir Pass
Corkscrew Gulch
Piayane & Placer Gulch
Stony Pass
Engineer Pass
Imogene Pass

"The Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails" by Charles A. Wells was a great resource to have. As was my GPS hooked up to my laptop with TOPO USA on it.

Anyway, I've uploaded nearly 100 of the over 300 pics I took along the way. The auto resize/dithering screwed with the resolution a bit, but you'll get the general idea.

http://photobucket.com/albums/v177/-kylej/Col Mustard/

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Old 09-24-2004, 12:28 PM
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I read it was snowed in above 9000 ft. since the 20th and all the passes are closed indefinitely. did you come across any of that?
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Old 09-24-2004, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by FirstToy
I read it was snowed in above 9000 ft. since the 20th and all the passes are closed indefinitely. did you come across any of that?
Nope. I was there from the 14 through the 17th. Guess I picked the right time to have a week off between jobs!
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Old 09-24-2004, 01:15 PM
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WOW- That's what it looks like in sunshine!

We went over the Apline loop the 10th- in rain and snow. From your pics, there was already a change in the amounts of colors - they are changing FAST.
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Old 10-02-2004, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by crawler#976
WOW- That's what it looks like in sunshine!

We went over the Apline loop the 10th- in rain and snow. From your pics, there was already a change in the amounts of colors - they are changing FAST.
It was an amazing trip. I'll be back in April.

Here's my 4Runner pics:


















Last edited by Col. Mustard; 10-02-2004 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 10-02-2004, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Col. Mustard
It was an amazing trip. I'll be back in April.
Hope you'll be bringing a snowmobile. I lived in Lake City for six years and the Loop Road doesn't open till mid June. Highly skilled snowmobilers can ride from Lake City to Silverton in April, but the avalanche danger is very high, especially north of Capitol City.

Great pics BTW -
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Old 11-20-2004, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Bagger
Hope you'll be bringing a snowmobile.....

Great pics BTW -
Well heck. I think I'll come out in June again. The flowers were in bloom and there wasn't anyone on the trails!
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Old 11-20-2004, 08:33 AM
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Looks cool. I especially liked photo #8, 25 and 96. The expansiveness and aspens. good fun. Are the jeep renters a detterent? Do they all have their heads up the arses like they are the only ones on the ''road''? Again thanx for the post n pics. mike
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Old 11-21-2004, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Col. Mustard
Well heck. I think I'll come out in June again. The flowers were in bloom and there wasn't anyone on the trails!
Somehow I missed the PhotoBucket link the first time I read this thread. I just looked through them and you really got some great shots! The wife and were married in almost the exact spot you took this photo. Just a little further down the shoreline by the B&B that sits on its own little island. Good fishing and canoeing on Lake San Cristobal too!

When you head back, June would be better for a 4WD trip. April and May are commonly referred to as "Mud Season" in the San Juans, and you can still get slammed by a huge wet Spring snow storm as well. I know of some other lesser known trails in the area, particullarly in Hinsdale County if you want to try some different ones on your next trip. With your GPS and laptop with TOPO, you wouldn't have any problems finding them, or your way back!
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Old 11-21-2004, 08:52 AM
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Mustard how far into that abandoned mine could you get?
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:34 AM
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^^^

Not very far. All the ones I looked at were baracaded off after 5-20ft or so.

I wouldn't have gone into them anyway. WAY too dangerous.

Bagger, I'l PM you for some trail info later next spring.
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Old 12-15-2004, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GodwinAustin
Mustard how far into that abandoned mine could you get?
You wouldn't want to, anyways. They are always in danger of caving in, and the air is usually poisonous, too.
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