| Off the Beaten Trail: 8/15-8/21
I felt the call of the mountains and the desert this year. Flying in from Boston with only a week to spare, I aimed to answer both.
Drove west from Craig to a remote corner of NW Colorado to take down Zenobia Peak, a Colorado 2K Prominence Peak in addition to being the high point of Dinosaur NM. There's a road leading to an active fire tower on the summit. I was dumb enough to lose the road and thus have to bushwhack to the summit, with even a little bit of scrambling tossed in. Views are great, with the Uintas rising to the west and the canyons of Dinosaur to the south:
Uintas to the West
Dinosaur NM to the South
Afterwards drove to Adobe Town, a unmarked but remarkable spot on BLM land accessable only by dirt and 4WD roads between Bitter Creek WY and Powder Wash Colorado. No trails, no people, and no signs except those warning you of natural gas pipelines underneath.
Quick hike up Whiskey Peak, a Wyoming 2K Prominence Peak about 40 minutes north of Rawlins.
Lots of wild horses in this area. Ran into several herds of them on the way up and on the way down.
Drove from Rawlins via Landers to the Great Divide Basin. Caught my first views of the Winds, from afar. I need to explore those mountains some day.
Quick walk up to Continental Peak, a summit on the Divide Basin rim. Drove around for hours on dirt roads, didn't see a soul, except for wild horses and countless pronghorn antelopes.
West towards Oregon Buttes
Wind Rivers are visible from summit:
Some sand dunes:
Flat Top Mountain
Easy hike to Flat Top Mountain near Yampa, in the Flat Top Wilderness. First hikers I saw was when I was almost back to the trailhead near Stillwater Reservoir. It was the first time I had company on the trail the entire trip.
Views are great from the top, from the Elkheads, to Zirkel, to the Front Range, Gores, Sawatch, and Elks (astonishing views of Capitol and Sopris).
Rainout. Went to Blackhawk, got drunk, and somehow won 80 bucks on Wednesday night. Thursday on the advice of the forums here I checked out the mountaineering museum in Golden, then the Coors Brewery.
Torreys & Grays Peak
14,267 & 14,270 ft.
Nothing too exotic on Friday. Fun climb up Kelso Ridge to Torreys then Grays Peak. Knife Edge was interesting; more dicey was traversing the White Rocks afterwards, as they were still covered with ice/snow from the previous day.
Topped out on Torreys, quick trip up Grays, then a pleasant hike down chatting with some local hikers. Yeah, the peaks were packed on a Friday, but it was a pleasant change of pace to actually see fellow human beings on the trail.
Long sloggy hike up to Mt. Powell on my last full day out west. The route is forgettable but the summit isn't.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):