Pickle/Miner's Gulch/

Yankee Hill


Near Blackhawk, Colorado


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   On Saturday 'NITE', October 27th 2001, it sure seemed strange to wait to go jeepin', but finally------around 5pm, we assembled at Hwy 6 and Hwy 93 west of Golden for a Pickle Gulch/Miner's Gulch/Yankee Hill 'NITE RUN'!  Hobos in attendance were myself (CJ-with my jeepin' sidekick Molly), Paul 'Weiszguy' Weisz & son Brett (CJ7), Jed McCleeland & son Micheal (renewed-CJ7), Jason Brew (XJ), Steve 'Moose' Gilbert & his brother (TJ), and Drew 'Drewby' Middleton (TJ). Guests included: Don Deralth (XJ), Greg Lundeen (TJ), and Mike (XJ).


Nine Jeeps meet up and are ready for for some night time fun!


    It seemed appropriate for Miner's Gulch seeing we have run it many times in daylight, so it was time to try it at night!  The rocks looked bigger, and the touch of fresh snow made it much more fun!  The 9 of us headed out west on HWY 6 along with the many gamblers on up to just past Blackhawk.  We arrived at the Blackhawk Post Office with just enough light to air down and disconnect a little after 6:30pm.


    We headed up to the Pickle Gulch trailhead with lights on and "Jeep,Jeep" anticipation ahead. Time to lock in at the trailhead, as we soon arrived at the small obstacle at Pickle Gulch. One by one we all went up and over.  Seems strange not being able to see everything around you in the dark.  You see what you need to do, and then you make a mental photo of what you need to do as your tires finally make contact.


    Up to the meadow, I made a left and headed back down Silver Creek.  This section doesn't get a lot of use, so small rocky sections were in order as we made our way down to the Apex Road.  Don and Steve headed back to Denver, now we were 7 at only 7:30pm.  We soon arrived at the trailhead of Miner's Gulch ready for some fun!  At nearly 9,800', and deep in the trees, last week's storm had coated most of the rocks with a dusting of 2 inches here and there.  The snow was just enough to feel the bumps, but also just enough to slip off them at the steep grade.


Drew gets some nice flex as his floods light the way...


    One by one, we crawled up the lower section til we reached the 'rocky playground'. We took turns climbing up, and sorta 'winging it' when it comes to knowing where you are. This was a different approach for me (nite-jeepin'), and a lot of fun (this was only my 2nd nite run). Pictures were hard to take as you can imagine, flashes went off, but it was pretty dark in the trees.


Jed tests out his new 4" lift and new 33"BFGs---'lookin good'!...


    We all made it thru and took a break in the open are just up the trail around 9pm.  The almost full moon shined on the open area, and soon our eyes adjusted to the 'daylight' surroundings.  On up the 2nd half of Miner's, the trail becomes steep with snow and smaller rocky sections as we finally made it to the top of the ridge.  Our next objective was Yankee Hill, so we headed west along FR 175.  Up a few miles, we reached the base of Yankee Hill, where Mike and Greg headed back to Denver, now we were 5 (all Hobos).


Paul runs up and over most anything with his 36" Swampers...


    We climbed Yankee Hill and parked on the saddle looking back down on the Denver lights to the east at 11,200'.  We all donned our maximum wattage towards Denver (did you see us about 10pm?), as beacons of white light filled the sky.  Soon, winter snows will take over this area.  The winds started howling (as they always do there), and the new snows off James Peak along the Front Range could be seen in the near cloudless night with almost a full moon.  As the wind-chill increased, the 'quality time' was over, and we headed down Yankee Hill.


The diehards on top of Yankee Hill...


    Instead of heading right down into Alice, I went south down Washoe Gulch, which turns into Cumberland Gulch and finally meets up with the Fall River Road down from Alice.  This trail would be best 'served' going up it verses down.  It has a lot of small rocky sections and is steep.  It also doesn't get much travel, so it's a bit ATV-like along some sections.  As we were heading down, Paul's brake light goes on and he has very little brake pedal.  We stopped, and he bled the brakes and found some air in one line. He had pedal pressure back, and we were on our way down.  After a side trail (remember it's dark!), we made it down to the pavement of Fall River Road, and put on the disconnects.


    We had been talking on the CB about Denny's for a while, so our next goal was Denny's at 6th and Simms for some 'Grand Slams'!  We lost Jed when we hit town (now we were 4-Paul, Drew, Jason, and myself), and we arrived at Denny's at 12am.  Happy Birthday Paul!! Being it was after midnight and Paul's birthday, we soon found out Denny's doesn't give out free food on your birthday anymore.  We blended in with the after-bar crowd (from Halloween costume partys), and finally headed home about 1am.  Wow, what a fun trip!!  A different perspective on the trail and jeepin', those missing this missed a great time!  Hanging out with good friends also make for a nice trip too!







*Photos provided by myself*


Other Miner's Gulch Trip Reports:


ASPENCADES 2001-Miner's Gulch-HoboJeepers

Pickle Gulch/Miner's Gulch 2000-HoboJeepers

Miner's Gulch/Kingston Peak Trails 2000-HoboJeepers

Kingston Peak/Yankee Hill/Miner's Gulch 2000-HoboJeepers



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