Sangre de Cristo Mtns - Medano Pass &
Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Monument
From WestCliffe heading west
Arrival in Westcliffe - finding a restaurant:
(Melissa's report to follow)
Westcliffe in the morning after a full breakfast at the local cafe, and after stocking up
with last minute provisions at the grocery store, we traversed a heavy corrugated trail to reach
the ascent of Medano Pass. Reaching the other side, we aired down and did the roller-coaster
trail ride through the Great Sand Dunes - a total blast! On arrival at our campsite in the late
afternoon we set up camp and relaxed after a fun day of thrilling fourwheeling. That first
evening's camaraderie over dinner, really set the tone for our awesome week in Colorado.
Alpine Loop - above the Tree Line,
Cinammon & California Passes, Lake Como
Animas Forks - Mining Town, Alpine Loop
Remnants of a By-Gone Era
Stony Pass, & Kite Lake Trail
One of the most enjoyable days of the trip was our crossing
of Stony Pass from Silverton. On the east side of the pass we took a dead-end trail out to Kite
lake. A superb 6 mile route that took over 2 hours to complete requiring some cool technical
driving. With amazing scenic views along the way, Kite Lake had a rugged beauty all its own.
After grilling up a welcome lunch, we devoured it quickly and scrambled to clear up and take
shelter as the heavens opened and we experienced a typical mountain downpour.
Ophir Pass, Silverton to Telluride
Our San Juan range base camp was the Matterhorn camp ground
just south of Telluride. With most of the trails on the Ouray/Silverton side of this range, we
needed to drive a high pass every morning to get to our designated route, and again in the early
evening to get back home. Ophir Pass became our 'matter of course' high pass, which we traversed
several times during our stay in the San Juans.
Imogene Pass Summit - Ouray to Telluride
8:20pm - Fading Light
Imogene Pass was without doubt on of our most technical
routes among the high passes we covered. It defeats me to think how the early travellers, with
horse and wagon, crossed from Ouray into Telluride on this slickrock trail.