Day five, crossing the continental divide one last time. After the first 3 miles, there isn't a good water source until Squaw Lake. I have a few questions. Gabs enjoys the view of the Animas River from the train car. The Weminuche is a massive wilderness. Spanning nearly 500,000 acres in southern Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness is Colorado’s largest Wilderness Area. After a gorgeous (and arduous) day of hiking we arrived at Bear Town trailhead. Day 2 started with a phenomenal climb up Columbine Pass. Eighty-five miles of the Continental Divide Trail travels through the Weminuche Wilderness. A welcome cool-down after climbing the pass. At 10,600 feet, Weminuche Pass is the lowest point along the Continental Divide within the Weminuche Wilderness. ... Continental Divide Trail through the South San Juans. Hike one of these sections through Colorado—based on your vacation time and motivation. CDT: Squaw Pass to Weminuche Pass (CO Sec. Nobody wants to be on a pass over 12,000 ft high with weather moving in. Continental Divide Trail: Hunchback Pass to West Ute Lake Labor Day Weekend | Friday – Sunday, August 30 – September 1, 2019. If you like fishing, take a day to acclimate to the elevation and fish the Rio Grande River as it runs through the campground. The Colorado Trail follows a section of the Continental Divide Trail before following Elk Creek to Molas Trails. Cottonwood Pass The east side of Continental Divide from Cottonwood Pass. This route is a perfect 3 night backpacking trail (it’s easy to add additional mileage/days if you’re interested which we did). Note: The term squaw is considered universally offensive by Indigenous groups in America due to its use for hundreds of years in a derogatory context. Continental Divide Trail - Weminuche Pass to Hunchback Pass: Animas River Drainage. We saw a giant bull moose and two deer on the way in. The Highland Mary Lakes is a short backpacking loop hike located in the Weminuche Wilderness of southwest Colorado. Sep 18, 2012 #1 I've been too busy the past month or so running around the mountains to get my trip reports done. When this happens to someone on the trail I've learned there is a simple remedy that always works: get the shelter pitched, put your partner in a sleeping bag, and feed them hot food and drink. We filtered water and then started our first day on the trail. The Continental Divide Trail runs 80 miles through the Weminuche, between Wolf Creek Pass and Stony Pass near Silverton. The view from atop the divide was breathtaking. Oct 23, 2020: When Two Trails Become One. Day 2: We hiked up the CDT, turned off at the Squaw Lake Trail - which we almost missed because the signage was hard to see - and then camped at Squaw Lake. Our last day on the trail was a leisurely decent to The Elk Park flag stop. Distance from Trailhead: 7.7 miles (loop) Ending/Highest Elevation: 12,580-ft. Elevation Gain: 1,790-ft. The Continental Divide Trail runs 80 miles through the Weminuche, between Wolf Creek Pass and Stony Pass near Silverton. The Weminuche Loop is a classic 40-50 mile horseshoe hike that starts at Elk Park and ends at Needleton. Learn more about the Colorado Trail Five- to 16-mile out-and-back ... Lisa had a bit of trouble last year in the Maroon Bells when we hiked the Four Pass Loop, and I may have had a slight headache that first day as well. We hopped off the train and the brakeman started tossing bags out of the cargo car. Final elevation was 11,199 ft. Gabriela does some dance moves... with her backpack still on. A family friend in CO pointed us towards Weminuche and mentioned the historic narrow gauge coal train that can drop you off right at the wilderness border. But Chimi, Delightful and I want to give the pass one more shot. Good fishing on Los Pinos River, Rincon La Vaca, and Squaw Creek. Squaw Creek, Continental Divide and Weminuche Trail Loop is a 29.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Creede, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Ouray/Silverton, CO – While staying in Ouray, we hiked a section of the Colorado Trail/Continental Divide Trail (they overlap) from Stony Pass. Our route went in/out the opposite: our tickets dropped us off at Needleton stop, and then picked us up six days later at Elk Park flag stop. The Weminuche spans the Continental Divide, North America's geological backbone, with its headwaters diverted to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. At the pass, trail #564 (named the Skyline Trail on a Forest Service map and Opal Lake Trail on the Trails Illustrated map) comes down the Continental Divide from the west. Loop opportunities abound in the Weminuche and almost all of them tie into the CDT. 1. Er führt entlang eines Sees, entlang eines Flusses und es gibt schöne Wildblumen und oftmals Wildtiere zu sehen. This 100 mile section of the CDT trail begins at the Wolf Creek Pass trailhead east of Pagosa Springs on Hwy 160 and winds its way west following the spine of the Rockies to Stony Pass where 4WD road access is available to the town of Silverton. The Weminuche Wilderness sits in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in the middle of the area surrounded by Pagosa Springs, Durango, Silverton, Creede, and South Fork, Colorado. With West Trout Creek a half of a mile straight down and the cliff above practically hanging over you the experience is dizzying. The Weminuche is a massive wilderness. This loop typically begins at the Elk Park flag stop on the Silverton/Durango Narrow Gauge Train then makes a loop down Vallecito Creek to end at the Needleton stop. Continental Divide Trail: Hunchback Pass to West Ute Lake Labor Day Weekend | Friday – Sunday, August 30 – September 1, 2019. The nearest town is the town of Silverton, right off of Highway 550, also known as the Million Dollar Highway. Elk Park to Needleton Loop Hike Map – Weminuche Wilderness Maps. Our last two days were nice and mellow. Aufgrund der Steigung und Distanz ist die Strecke als schwierig einzustufen. Along the Continental Divide: Stony Pass Peaks . See the “West Side” map. In the morning fog and clouds scud through the valley and over the Rio Grande Pyramid. Its summit is not far from the Continental Divide Trail near Rincon La Vaca and Weminuche Pass. Very sad. Many years ago mining was common throughout these lands. Never had alitude sickness. When we arrived there were groups of hikers slumping in the shade of the trees, awaiting their return train. Photo by David Herrera. Not this time though! Arriving at Rock Lake felt like such an accomplishment. Ah, finally we are on the trail, slowly propelling the monster packs up toward Weminuche Pass at 10,700', a low spot in the continental divide. After making our way over Columbine Pass, we took a dip in the lake. No time to lose! The Continental Divide Trail runs 80 miles through the Weminuche, between Wolf Creek Pass and Stony Pass near Silverton. Hinweis: Der Begriff Squaw wird von indigenen Gruppen in Amerika aufgrund seiner jahrhundertelangen Verwendung in einem abfälligen Kontext als allgemein anstößig angesehen. This is serious backpacking, with … We met some nice folks who were also getting picked up that afternoon: a climber that had been in the trinity peaks and a father with his two sons that had done a short overnight trip. We're planning on the Weminuche Pass Continental Divide Loop plus Granite Lake. To the south is the Pinos Creek drainage and the official designation of the trail becomes the Pine River Trail, #523. I've been eyeing the Weminuche Pass / Granite Lakes and Continental Divide Semi-Loop as detailed on this website. Shared By: Hiking Project Staff. Oct 9, 2020: What to Know When Hiking in Montana. Es gibt verschiedene Aktivitätsmöglichkeiten. We camped at an area that is informally known as "the bridge.". The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Length 17.9 mi Elevation gain 3,740 ft Route type Loop Its summit is not far from the Continental Divide Trail near Rincon La Vaca and Weminuche Pass. The Ute Lakes area felt so different than any other part of this wilderness, rolling hills that dip into small lakes and pockets of meadows. Saw moose, elk, deer, coyote, it was truly a stunning trail. 6) ... Local Club: Continental Divide Trail Coalition. Continental Divide Trail Snow Report. I will be driving from Texas to the Weminuche wilderness over 2 days, arriving on day 2. But once we diverted east and started our climb along Rock Creek the real challenge began, and that was after six miles of hiking. Tristan proposed that we assemble the same group again, to do a semi-loop hike in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado, starting near his home in Durango, and I immediately accepted. The Continental Divide Trail stretches 3,100 miles down the backbone of North America from Canada to Mexico, but you don’t have to do it all. The Highland Mary Lakes area has wide open feel with broad gradual grassy slopes surrounding three high altitude lakes. The mountain goats are tenacious. A 13-mile loop between the Weminuche and La Garita Wilderness, ... As the second-highest paved road crossing the Continental Divide, the pass reaches 12,095 feet. The Continental DivideTrail (CD; which only dips below timberline 3 times) runs for 80 miles from Wolf Creek Pass to the Silverton area. This trip was actually a very special one: our honeymoon! One look at the dramatic landscape (Weminuche is home to some popular 14ers) and we were sold. About to begin the ascent from Vallecito to Rock Lake. My buddy and I are planning on hiking in the Weminuche Wilderness early September. What a wildly gorgeous and challenging day! If you wish to do the loop hike, return to the overlook above Verde Lakes. Or more specifically a two pass loop that encompasses going over to the Continental Divide and continuing on to the remote feeling Western side of the Indian Peaks. After tossing our backpacks in the cargo card we took our seats on the train. Located in south-central Colorado, near Buena Vista, Cottonwood Pass reaches as high as 12,119, and at its saddle, it meets with Continental Divide. I did this trail in late September. I've been eyeing the Weminuche Pass / Granite Lakes and Continental Divide Semi-Loop as detailed on this website. This was the only "crowded" part of the trip. Distance from Trailhead: 7.7 miles (loop) Ending/Highest Elevation: 12,580-ft. Elevation Gain: 1,790-ft. The area is gorgeous. Never fails. Sherrod saw a pine martin. The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is an excellent way to experience the Weminuche Wilderness. The melodious purr of water rapids was always nearby, keeping our moral high even at the most exhausting moments. Wolf Creek Pass. We made great time arriving around 15:00 that afternoon but it felt like an eternity. The trail is well defined and easy to follow. Stony Pass is closest to the town of Silverton, Colorado. The Weminuche is a massive wilderness. Within the wilderness area, which is closed to all vehicular traffic, you can hike to high alpine valleys, mountain peaks and pristine lakes on hundreds of miles of marked trails. September was a great time to go because there were very few people, but be prepared as it got down in the 20s at night (mid 70s during the day). On July 26th we flew from LAX to Denver, rented a car-- an affectionately lime green Ford Fiesta-- and drove seven hours to Durango. Wolf Creek Pass. Our in/out points were part of what is informally referred to as the Eld Park Loop. Rio Grande Pyramid is one of the Colorado's centennial peaks. The trail is approximately 3 miles, one way, but can be made into a 7.8 mile loop via a segment of the Continental Divide Trail to Cunningham Gulch Trail. Saturday & Sunday, August 22-23, 2020. Weminuche was first designated a wilderness area in 1975. Entering the high alpine tundra of Colorado’s largest wilderness usually involves an overnight backpacking trip, but Highland Mary Lakes is a spectacular exception that can be reached in just a short excursion through the high country's Continental Divide Trail and Cunningham Gulch Trail #502. At the pass, trail #564 (named the Skyline Trail on a Forest Service map and Opal Lake Trail on the Trails Illustrated map) comes down the Continental Divide from the west. The Continental Divide Trail runs 80 miles through the Weminuche, between Wolf Creek Pass and Stony Pass near Silverton. First we had to climb out from Bear Town and cross over the Continental Divide one last time. This is serious backpacking, with long days above timberline and strenuous climbing. Adding this summit to the trek would be easy to do requiring only an additional round trip distance of 2.7 miles and an ascent and descent of 1,968 feet. A 7-day loop through the Weminuche Wilderness in the Juan Mountains of Colorado: Cunningham Gulch Trail - Continental Divide Trail (CTD) - Eldorado Lake - Kite Lake - Hunchback Pass - … Virtual Tour of CDT: Squaw Pass to Weminuche Pass (CO Sec. Weminuche Wilderness. Never had alitude sickness. Also, caught lots of nice rainbows on the drive out closer to South Fork. I'd also suggest going out the Squaw Creek Trail and coming back down the Weminuche Creek Trail unless you really want to challenge yourself. But later in the afternoon we ran into some inclement weather. This 36.5-mile hike stays at or above timberline for most of its course around the Cimarron Creek headwaters in Weminuche's southeastern corner. The trees were numerous and some were cloaked in moss. Day four covers Squaw Pass to Weminuche Pass. Then it was a decent into the Elk Creek Drainage. beautiful hike with lots of wildlife, including elk and moose. Die Route ist am besten von April bis September zugänglich. We grabbed our gear and promptly headed across the Needleton bridge. We arrived in plenty of time to setup the shelter to let it dry out while we waited for our train. It took a while to find a flat area to camp. We also diverted from the original route, taking low ground through Twin Lakes up to Middle Ute Lake. The Wilderness contains about 500 miles of trails that pass endless alpine summits with numerous alpine lakes. Beautiful hike. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and backpacking. It is shared by the San Juan National Forest on the west side of the continental divide, and the Rio Grande National Forest on the east side. Bayfield, CO. Along the Continental Divide: Stony Pass Peaks. The trail is easy to find and an follow out of 30 Mile Campground. With an average elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level, the Weminuche is rugged country, but its ecosystems are fragile. Each hikers skill-set and comfort level with these conditions will differ. Five- to 16-mile out-and-back. In July of 2017, we walked fifty-five miles on a remote section of Continental Divide Trail in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado, a profound experience, hiking ridge top trails at the level of the clouds. Trail Ratings 0.0 from 0 votes #27 in Weminuche Wilderness #40244 Overall. Here’s an overview map of the Weminuche Wilderness, which includes trailhead locations. The Day Hike. From the Continental Divide and the headwaters of the Rio Grande on the east side, to the craggy peaks known as the “American Alps” on the west side, to the dark, vast interior where you may go days without seeing another human, one could spend a lifetime exploring its … Alltitude. This last week I hiked the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) through the South San Juan Wilderness with two of my friends. Any info on adverse trail or road conditions, nearby forest fires or any other pertinent wisdom is greatly appreciated. The Weminuche Wilderness sits in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in the middle of the area surrounded by Pagosa Springs, Durango, Silverton, Creede, and South Fork, Colorado. Weminuche Pass is on the Continental Divide. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Now newly paved all the way through, Cottonwood Pass is even more accessible to travelers. I would recommend this trial late in the summer. Clear trail. Caught numerous giant brown trout. Both in Colorado. Meeting with the Continental Divide Trail just shy of two miles, the terrain pulls out of the rolling plateau toward a rocky stretch. It’s heavily forested along the whole way with small glimpses of the creek below and seldom an open view. The first half of the day was sunny and clear. Many of the trails through the area have been used since the early days. Spanning nearly 500,000 acres in southern Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness is Colorado’s largest Wilderness Area. Hike one of these sections through Colorado—based on your vacation time and motivation. USGS 7.5-minute topographic maps: Weminuche Pass, and Rio Grande Pyramid. The debate became one of safety: do we make camp near Nebo Creek or do we head for Hunchback Pass and hope the weather does not decline? To the south is the Pinos Creek drainage and the official designation of the trail becomes the Pine River Trail, #523. Our group consisted of six people lead by Alicia Viskoe, a tall, quiet engineer who lives in Cody Wyoming. Day 1: We left from Thirty Mile Campground (where you can park your car) and hiked up the Weminuche Creek Trail to the North Fork Pine River Trail, and camped at the intersection of the CDT and North Fork Pine River Trail. As I hiked in the dark, I noticed that it was pretty cloudy. Thread starter Aldaron; Start date Sep 18, 2012; Tags colorado Aldaron Member . Camping somewhere south of "beaver pond.". With more than 492,000 acres, the Weminuche Wilderness is one of the largest wilderness areas in the United States. The Continental Divide Trail stretches 3,100 miles down the backbone of North America from Canada to Mexico, but you don’t have to do it all. The rest of the day was a steady decent along Johnson Creek drainage to the bridge at Vallecito Creek. The flies were pretty bad at this lower elevation, as can be seen in this photo if you look closely. The Continental Divide Trail snow report is designed to aid hikers in determining the best time to head into the mountains based on snow conditions. Gabriela was feeling pretty rough from the cold rain, altitude and long day. Day 1 ended at Chicago Basin after over 3,100 ft of elevation gain. Day 1 (Approximately 5 miles) The loop begins on an easy stretch that follows Elk Creek up hill towards the Continental Divide.