|The San Juan's ... the best tundra jeepin' in Colorado!|
The "San Juan's", most jeepers know what you mean when you mention them. Located in the Southwestern part of Colorado, they contain some of the best tundra jeepin' in the state. Ever been there? If you have, then you know what I mean, since no place in the West does more scenery come together in one place then the San Juan's. Combined with the small quaint towns of Silverton, Telluride, and Ouray, It's worth the 6+ hour trip from Denver. The jeep trails are mostly easy to moderate (except one section of Black Bear); the scenery is the main attraction. High tundra meadows (as green as golf courses), contrasted with snow patches and the red-stained mountains and blue sky have to be seen to believe.
The HoboJeepers as one of our planned trips since Jan had plans to visit the San Juan's over the long 4th of July weekend. Hobos along for the adventure were Chris "Colonel" Potter and his son Jason, Ken "Tool Man" Kordes, Pete "JeepDog" Ramirez and his wife Julie, Phil "Groundhawg" Ramirez and his friend Adrian, myself (Bill Hallinan) with my jeepin-sidekick Molly, and guest Lynn (TJ) and his wife.
|The Collegiate Range with peaks over 14,000' near Buena Vista along our way South to the San Juan's...|
We all met up at the Bugling Bull in Conifer at 9am for breakfast, and were on Hwy 285 heading west by 10am. With about 375 miles (6.5 hours) to go, we took our time thru the mtns. Plans for the long weekend include running a camping/jeeping loop trail over the highlights of the San Juan's. Trails include Engineer Pass, California Gulch, Hurricane Pass, Corkscrew Gulch, Black Bear Pass, and Imogene Pass.
|Monarch Pass along Hwy 50 and the Continental Divide|
We arrived in the afternoon west of Lake City to set up camp in a meadow with a view of Capitol City. The Colonel's fuel injection from possible bad gas in Buena Vista conked out on the way, but with some time started right up and ran fine. Now in the San Juan's, we were ready for a scenic 2 day adventure. Click on the links below for the fun details of each day's trips.
|1st night's camp near Capitol City West of Lake City...||A nice fire, good friends, and dreams of tommarow's trip...|
After two great days of trails, Ken Kordes and Chris Potter headed back to Denver on Tuesday July 4th. I opted to hang in Ouray for the 4th, and watched the parade, got wet in the fireman's water fight, and participated in the 4x4 Flare Parade down the switchbacks into town before the fireworks.
|Ouray's 4th of July parade...a good ole' down home parade!||Waterfights and fun are part of "Spending a day in Ouray"...|
|Over 60 4x4's waiting to head down into Ouray in the Flare Parade before the fireworks show...|
click on link below to a trip report from the San Juans...
Sunday, July 1st
ENGINEER PASS/ ANIMAS FORK/
CALIFORNIA GULCH/ CORKSCREW GULCH TRAILS
Monday, July 2nd
BLACK BEAR PASS/ IMOGENE PASS TRAILS
|"The San Juan's: "The Switzerland of Colorado"|
A fun weekend was had by all, and an area worth some time to visit, as the San Juan's are the "Switzerland of the Rockies". Tread Lightly and preserve the tundra.
BILL HALLINAN HoboJeepers
Here are some other San Juan Sites:
San Juan Mountain Jeeping Routes by Ed and Julie: http://www.twenj.com/ourayjeeproutes.htm
Lake City, Colorado-A short History: http://www.narrowgauge.org/ncmap/excursion7_lake_city.html
Engineer Pass Trail Report by Jerry Clark: http://www.narrowgauge.org/4x4/html/engineer.html
Black Bear Pass Trail by Bob Norton: http://www.4x4now.com/trcobb.htm
Black Bear Pass Trail photos: http://www.cyberport.com/~dbradshaw/bb.htm
Black Bear Pass Trail description: http://www.fastlane.net/~mazz/travel/colorado/blackbear.htm
Imogene Pass Trail by Flatlander: http://www.4x4now.com/trcoip.htm
Colorado Pass Openings as of July 2, 2000: http://www.bushducks.com/tripreps/passopen.htm
32nd Annual All-4Fun in Silverton by Jeff Fox: http://truckworld.com/Travel-Adventure/98-all4fun/all-4-fun-4.html
32nd Annual All-4Fun in Silverton by Flatlander: http://4x4now.com/a4f98.htm
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