Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back To School

On August 25, I hiked to the top of Mt. Princeton (14,197 ft.) It is my first 14er of the year (hopefully not the last), and the 14th overall. The trailhead I used is at an elevation of 8900 feet. Round trip for the lower trailhead is 13 miles. If I had I high-clearance vehicle, I could have driven 3.5 miles further up the road. I don’t have such a vehicle, so I walked it. I got to say, hiking all the way from the lower trailhead makes me feel like I really earned this 14er.

While driving to the lower trailhead in the wee hours of the morning, I noticed that it rained during the night. So there was lots of moisture in the air. As the morning went by, lots of clouds formed earlier than usual. It was a cool effect, but it pretty much killed the view from the top. The good thing about these clouds is that they were not the lightning producing kind. The clouds were also interesting for photography. I wish I had more time to take better photos, but I needed to focus on getting up and down the mountain while I still had some resemblance of energy. Anyway, I made it all the way up and back down again. So here are the pictures.
Looking east shortly after sunrise.  Above 11,000 ft
Clouds on top of Mt. Princeton's summit.
Looking east and seeing clouds creep up the Mountain
Looking back on the trail
Look, there is a Pika on that rock
From the ridge line, looking southeast
The trail to the top is in the clouds
From the top of Mt. Princeton.  Mt Antero
View to the northwest from the top
Me on top of Mt. Princeton
On the way down, looking towards Salida
Mt Antero

Monday, August 26, 2013

In The Wilderness

On August 11, I hiked to Macey Lakes in the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness. It is 14 miles round trip to the lakes. I parked at the Horn Creek Trailhead. I then hiked 3.5 miles along the Rainbow Trail to get to the trail to Macey Lakes. From there, it was another 3.5 miles to the upper lake. The trail is easy to follow to the lower lake. The trail to the upper lake is a little harder to follow. There is also a lake to the south of the lower lake. I went to that lake as well. That hike was half bushwhack, half trail. I probably added an extra mile going to and from this lake. The hike to the main lakes is not that hard. It is just distance, altitude, and a gradual up. Anyway here are some pictures.
Upper Macey Lake.  The lake is just below 12,000 ft.  The unnamed peak on the right is above 13,000 ft.
Upper Macey Lake
Small lake near the bigger upper lake
Small lake again.  Looking east towards the Wet Mountains.
Lower Macey Lake
The lake that is south of the lower lake.

Monday, August 19, 2013

All Those Yesterdays

Back on July 20th, I did a short hike with my friends Charles and Tina. We went to the Stultz Trailhead on Oak Creek Grade. Rather than hike the Stultz Trail, we went in the opposite direction to the top of some cliffs and then down into a canyon. It was quite scenic.
Tina and Charles
Tina and Charles - We hiked to the canyon below
We were on top of the cliff on the right
The next day I went for a hike in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I did the Cottonwood Creek Trail. It wasn’t the best of trails, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be a favorite of mine. It was not because the hike wasn't scenic, it is because I am spoiled with all the other grand hikes that I have done in Colorado. I wanted to go for a hike and get back in time for a US soccer game on TV. This trail worked out perfect for that. The trail had some nice views of Horn Peak which I had hiked previously in 2011.
View of the false summit of Horn Peak
Horn Peak