Pickle/Miner's Gulch/

Yankee Hill

3rd Annual 'NITE RUN'

Near Blackhawk/Alice, Colorado


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   On Saturday 'NITE', October 25th 2003, once again---we celebrated another fun 2003 Summer of Jeepin' while bringing in the gloomy early sunsets to come with a FUN nite run.  Around 5:15pm, some assembled at Hwy 6 and Hwy 93 west of Golden for a Pickle Gulch/Miner's Gulch/Yankee Hill 'NITE' RUN'!  


    Yes, 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 with a new moon, it was pitch black!  This trip is along the same path as last year's run, and the recent Aspencades 2003 run.  At the Blackhawk Post Office, we met up with some of the 'mountain people'.  There was just enough light to air down and disconnect.  Alittle after 6:30pm we had a meeting, and decided to include Pickle Gulch in the trip as well.


    Hobos in attendance were myself (CJ7), Paul 'WeiszGuy' and son Brett 'WeiszDude' Weisz (CJ7), Scott 'Mad Max' Maxwell and sons Pete & Tom (TJ), , Mark Fisher (TJ), & Tailgunner Jed 'Clampett' McClelland & Denise along with daughter Ashley and friend (CJ7).  Guests included: Richard & Sherry D. (Patrol 2-Commando), Dan C. (Patrol 9-82' Scrambler), Matt C. & passenger Troy A. (Patrol 9-Scrambler-'wind free'), Mike & Tessie (Patrol 9-TJ), Rich (TJ), & Wendell (YJ).


12 rigs meet up at the Blackhawk Post Office,

and are ready for for some night time fun!


Group photo of some great wheelers as dusk and darkness approach...


    12 rigs headed up to the Pickle Gulch trailhead with lights on and "Jeep,Jeep" anticipation ahead.  The 1st hundred yards are tight and tree-lined.  Time to lock in at the trailhead, as we soon arrived at the small obstacle on the Pickle Gulch Trail. One by one we all went up and over.  I only took a few photos, so I dropped in some older daylight ones to see the area.  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 (unless you have undercarriage lights!).  No snow to play on this year, even though a recent cold front drop temps 20 degrees the day before.


Here is a photo of the Pickle Gulch obstacle in daylight...


Tailgunner Jed takes on the Pickle Gulch obstacle and wins...


    Up to the meadow, we took a 10-100 break.  The winds were light and cold, and  it was very dark!  The stars were bright, as it was a bit frosty.  Heading around Oregon Hill, we arrived at Apex.


One the way thru Elk Park, our road was dark (photo from 2000)...


    We soon arrived at the trailhead of Miner's Gulch south of Elk Park ready for some fun!  One by one, we crawled up the lower section till we reached the 'rocky playground'.  We took turns climbing up, and sorta 'winging it' when it comes to knowing where you are.  What a blast, everyone did great!  See some other trip reports below to see what this section looks like in daylight.  This was a different approach for me (nite-jeepin'), and a lot of fun (this was my 4th nite run). Pictures were hard to take as you can imagine, flashes went off, but it was pretty dark in the trees.


Dan eases up a dirt rise...


I maneuver thru the rock garden 1st...


as Dan follows...


as do others (like Mike)...


Matt takes the harder left line...


as does Paul...


as he gives his approval!


Wendall drives his stock YJ well...


Matt climbs these larger rocks on the trail...


as Richard follows...


along with Scott-'Mad Max'...


with smiles.


Mark tackles the upper ledge...


as Jed tries the lower larger rocks...


and gets 'everything' hung...


and takes his winch to slide off and free.


    We all made it thru and took a break in the open are just up the trail around 10:00pm.  The new moon made it pretty dark.  On up the 2nd half of Miner's, the trail becomes steep with 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 175.3  Up a few miles, we reached the base of Yankee Hill, where we all headed up the steep mogul hill.


Daylight photo looking down Yankee Hill

(imagine us in the dark coming up)...


view looking up steep and mogul Yankee Hill.

(no photos of our trip here)


    We climbed Yankee Hill and parked on the saddle all looking back down towards Denver at 11,200'.  You could see I-70 off in the distance, so we all donned our maximum wattage towards Denver, as beacons of white light filled the sky.  The normally howling winds was present and the wind chill factor was present and cold.  Soon, winter snows will take over this area for good.  As the wind increased, the 'quality time' was over (Matt and Troy will a test to that), and we all headed down Yankee Hill.


Group photo on top Yankee Hill (photos never seem to show cold and wind,,,,but it was there!).



    Instead of heading right down into Alice, I went south down 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.  After passing a group heading up, we made it down to the pavement of Fall River Road, and aired up and put on the disconnects.


    Wow, what a fun trip!!  A different perspective on the trail and jeepin', those missing this missed a great time!  Hanging out with good wheelin' friends also make for a nice trip too!








*Photos provided by myself & Mardi B.*, If anyone else has any others please send them to me.



Other HoboJeeper Miner's Gulch Trip Reports:


Miner's Gulch 'Nite Run'  2002-HoboJeepers


Jenny Creek/Miner's Gulch 2002-HoboJeepers


Pickle Gulch/Miner's Gulch 2001-HoboJeepers


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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