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Lime Mesa Trail (Ruby Lake)--Info? Reaching the trailhead?

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Lime Mesa Trail (Ruby Lake)--Info? Reaching the trailhead?

Postby chinookhead » Sat May 18, 2013 10:16 pm

I am trying to figure out the best way to reach Ruby lake near Overlook Point in the Weminuche and if I can make it via the trailhead of the "Lime Mesa Trail". I've seen pictures of the area on the internet and it looks spectacular. The one drawback is that it looks like it's a really "long out of the way" drive, so I hope it's worth it.
http://ilanarama.livejournal.com/74535.html


I have a Subaru forester (8.7in clearance), which has done well for me on steep inclines and mud, but it's obviously not a rock crawler and it has no skid plates. It looks like I will be able to make it down Missionary Ridge Road (FR682) to FR081. However, will I probably be able to make it that last 3 miles down the 4WD road to the Lime Mesa Trailhead? How bad is the road? Just mud and/or steep or big rocks and holes?

Also, any suggestions on side trip, peaks to bag in the area, and wildlife viewing (goats etc.) in the area? Is there an easier way to reach Ruby Lake that involves less slow driving?

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Re: Lime Mesa Trail (Ruby Lake)--Info? Reaching the trailhea

Postby Eph 2 5 » Mon May 20, 2013 9:27 pm

I'm pretty sure you're asking the same questions I had. Try this link: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=35130&p=419066&hilit=lime+mesa#p419066

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Re: Lime Mesa Trail (Ruby Lake)--Info? Reaching the trailhea

Postby chinookhead » Sun May 26, 2013 12:35 pm

Eph 2 5, that's very funny how identical your question was to mine........even driving a Forester. Did you actually make the trip? If so, how was it?

I plan on making a base camp at Ruby Lake for a couple days. From here, I'll day hike to Kennedy Mountain and take that ridge to Aztec. What is the best approach to Kennedy Mountain and how difficult is it. If I start from Ruby lake, should I just follow the ridge from Ruby Lake and follow that Ridge and approach Kennedy from the west? Alternatively, it looks like I could drop down into the valley north of Kennedy and approach Kennedy from the north. What's the "standard route"?

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Re: Lime Mesa Trail (Ruby Lake)--Info? Reaching the trailhea

Postby Ridge runner » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:07 pm

chinookhead wrote:Is there an easier way to reach Ruby Lake that involves less slow driving?

I did Burnt Timber Trail to Lime Mesa and on out to Overlook Point today. Burnt Timber was beautiful and would be a good alternative starting point. Very easy drive from Florida Rd in Durango.

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Re: Lime Mesa Trail (Ruby Lake)--Info? Reaching the trailhea

Postby chinookhead » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:01 am

Thanks for the info Ridge Runner. Do you know the approximate Mileage from Burnt Timber Trail head to Overlook Point and around how long did it take you? ( If you were trail running, obviously much faster than me with 40# of gear).

Also, Google maps said that it takes about 1 hour from Durango to get there.......is that about right? This should theoretically save 1.5 hours of driving over the Lime Mesa trailhead.

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Re: Lime Mesa Trail (Ruby Lake)--Info? Reaching the trailhea

Postby Ridge runner » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:08 pm

I think the drive took me about 40-45 minutes from Durango. 20 or so minutes on Florida Road, and another 20 or so once I got to the dirt road by Lemon Lake.

I don't know the exact mileage from Burnt Timber to Overlook Point, but I'd guess anywhere around 12+ miles. It took me three hours to get up there and two to get back down (that's with a fair amount of walking, picture taking, gawking at the scenery, and dealing with downed trees in one section). So there's a fair amount of elevation gain if you start from this trail head versus the Lime Mesa TH. But sections of Burnt Timber are incredibly beautiful and well-worth the extra hiking effort!

Looking south on Burnt Timber:
Burnt Timber S.jpg
Burnt Timber S.jpg (143.79 KiB) Viewed 251 times


Looking north on Burnt Timber:
Burnt Timber N.jpg
Looking north on BT
Burnt Timber N.jpg (178.58 KiB) Viewed 251 times

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