Adding this summit to the trek would be easy to do requiring only an additional round trip distance of 2.7 miles and an ascent and descent of 1,968 feet. Then it was a decent into the Elk Creek Drainage. The Continental Divide Trail runs 80 miles through the Weminuche, between Wolf Creek Pass and Stony Pass near Silverton. It’s heavily forested along the whole way with small glimpses of the creek below and seldom an open view. It’s a fascinating high alpine pass, with a ghost town to explore on the Aspen side. Weminuche Pass is on the Continental Divide. The mountain goats are tenacious. The Needleton stop is nothing more than a small clearing next to the Animas River. I love this kind of hiking as it reminds a … To the south is the Pinos Creek drainage and the official designation of the trail becomes the Pine River Trail, #523. By the time you get a hot shower and meal out on the town, your planning your next trip! Camping somewhere south of "beaver pond.". The Weminuche Wilderness sits in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in the middle of the area surrounded by Pagosa Springs, Durango, Silverton, Creede, and South Fork, Colorado. Continental Divide Trail Snow Report. Squaw Creek, Continental Divide and Weminuche Trail Loop ist ein 46.8 Kilometer langer, wenig besuchter Rundweg in der Nähe von Creede, Colorado. With more than 492,000 acres, the Weminuche Wilderness is one of the largest wilderness areas in the United States. Saw moose, elk, deer, coyote, it was truly a stunning trail. Loop option with Continental Divide extension. Our last day on the trail was a leisurely decent to The Elk Park flag stop. Gabs enjoys the view of the Animas River from the train car. Es gibt verschiedene Aktivitätsmöglichkeiten. The Ute Lakes area felt so different than any other part of this wilderness, rolling hills that dip into small lakes and pockets of meadows. Our most challenging day. Oct 9, 2020: What to Know When Hiking in Montana. The loop begins on an easy stretch that follows Elk Creek up hill towards the Continental Divide. Day 1 ended at Chicago Basin after over 3,100 ft of elevation gain. beautiful hike with lots of wildlife, including elk and moose. A welcome cool-down after climbing the pass. Johnson Creek drainage down to Vallecito. I have a few questions. It is a loop I call The Double By-Pass. Its summit is not far from the Continental Divide Trail near Rincon La Vaca and Weminuche Pass. A 13-mile loop between the Weminuche and La Garita Wilderness, ... As the second-highest paved road crossing the Continental Divide, the pass reaches 12,095 feet. The Continental Divide Trail runs 80 miles through the Weminuche, between Wolf Creek Pass and Stony Pass near Silverton. Many years ago mining was common throughout these lands. Hinweis: Der Begriff Squaw wird von indigenen Gruppen in Amerika aufgrund seiner jahrhundertelangen Verwendung in einem abfälligen Kontext als allgemein anstößig angesehen. Bayfield, CO. Day 1 was a tougher day and I camped at around mile 10 before crossing the ridges. Loop opportunities abound in the Weminuche and almost all of them tie into the CDT. Never fails. The debate became one of safety: do we make camp near Nebo Creek or do we head for Hunchback Pass and hope the weather does not decline? Our route went in/out the opposite: our tickets dropped us off at Needleton stop, and then picked us up six days later at Elk Park flag stop. Sep 18, 2012 #1 I've been too busy the past month or so running around the mountains to get my trip reports done. The Continental Divide Trail stretches 3,100 miles down the backbone of North America from Canada to Mexico, but you don’t have to do it all. Loop option with Continental Divide extension. August 2008 | San Juan Mountains, Colorado ... with the intention of taking sunrise photos at a high lake then crossing over a 13,600-foot pass to get to Chicago Basin, the final valley of the trip. Thread starter Aldaron; Start date Sep 18, 2012; Tags colorado Aldaron Member . To the south is the Pinos Creek drainage and the official designation of the trail becomes the Pine River Trail, #523. The view from atop the divide was breathtaking. Length … Wolf Creek Pass. However, we were getting a little worried about our pace, and the Middle Ute route was something like 9 miles further to get to the same place as the East Ute route. We stashed the lime-green Ford Fiesta at the train station's long-term parking, it was $8 a day. After making our way over Columbine Pass, we took a dip in the lake. Long milage and a lot of elevation change: we crossed the continental divide three times that day. Full Details. USGS 7.5-minute topographic maps: Weminuche Pass, and Rio Grande Pyramid. Weminuche Wilderness Loop. Day 1 (Approximately 5 miles) The loop begins on an easy stretch that follows Elk Creek up hill towards the Continental Divide. This fun hike allows you walk the spine of the Rocky … As I hiked in the dark, I noticed that it was pretty cloudy. Rio Grande Pyramid is one of the Colorado's centennial peaks. I love this kind of hiking as it reminds a bit of New England – the intimate forest traverse. Beautiful hike. I understand why some locals are cynical about a train that burns coal and perpetually blasts a cacophonous whistle while rolling through town, but there's no contesting the value of this unique experience. On the way we passed an old mine. Alltitude. The trail is easy to find and an follow out of 30 Mile Campground. 1. This is serious backpacking, with long days above timberline and strenuous climbing. The trail is well defined and easy to follow. Continental Divide Trail: Hunchback Pass to West Ute Lake Labor Day Weekend | Friday – Sunday, August 30 – September 1, 2019. But later in the afternoon we ran into some inclement weather. One look at the dramatic landscape (Weminuche is home to some popular 14ers) and we were sold. Length 17.9 mi Elevation gain 3,740 ft Route type Loop First we had to climb out from Bear Town and cross over the Continental Divide one last time. The twin Highland Mary Lakes are encountered first, but only a short trip to the south serves up Verde Lake and just beyond… the Continental Divide Trail and a stunning view of the Grenadier Range. Squaw Creek, Continental Divide and Weminuche Trail Loop is a 29.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Creede, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The Day Hike. This is serious backpacking, with … The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is an excellent way to experience the Weminuche Wilderness. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Continental Divide Trail: Hunchback Pass to West Ute Lake Labor Day Weekend | Friday – Sunday, August 30 – September 1, 2019. We grabbed our gear and promptly headed across the Needleton bridge. Never had alitude sickness. The first couple miles of the Weminuche Creek Trail are brutal, but after that its relatively flat easy trial. This added milage but apparently the trail that followed the ridge was so overgrown that navigation was very difficult. The Wilderness contains about 500 miles of trails that pass endless alpine summits with numerous alpine lakes. Making camp near the bridge over Vallecito Creek. I will be driving from Texas to the Weminuche wilderness over 2 days, arriving on day 2. +/- 11,600 feet of elevation with a starting elevation of 9,500 feet and a peak elevation of 12,300 feet. I highly recommend this train ride. The Highland Mary Lakes is a short backpacking loop hike located in the Weminuche Wilderness of southwest Colorado. Die Route ist am besten von April bis September zugänglich. Ah, finally we are on the trail, slowly propelling the monster packs up toward Weminuche Pass at 10,700', a low spot in the continental divide. Joined Jun 16, 2012 Messages 1,485. Spanning nearly 500,000 acres in southern Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness is Colorado’s largest Wilderness Area. Day 3: We descended from Squaw Lake and hiked out on Squaw Creek Trail. I have a few questions. But you’d be hard-pressed to find better views for a long backpacking trip. This 100 mile section of the CDT trail begins at the Wolf Creek Pass trailhead east of Pagosa Springs on Hwy 160 and winds its way west following the spine of the Rockies to Stony Pass where 4WD road access is available to the town of Silverton. The CT/CDT trails cross Stony Pass Road (CR 4) about 300 yards past the actual pass, there are trail signs. Local Club: ... Emerald Lake - Vallacito Creek Loop 36.9 mi 59.3 km • 5,018' Up 1529.62 m Up • 5,006' Down 1525.94 m Down. Elk Park to Needleton Loop Hike Map – Weminuche Wilderness Maps. Waiting for our train and drying out the shelter. Weminuche Pass is on the Continental Divide. Be careful to pay attention to trail. In late July 2016, my wife and I did a 6 day, 50+ mile loop through the Weminuche Wilderness. Here’s an overview map of the Weminuche Wilderness, which includes trailhead locations. I started at Thirty Mile Campground and took the Weminuche Trail to the CDT and then came back by Squaw Creek Lake for a total of 25 miles. The rest of the day was a steady decent along Johnson Creek drainage to the bridge at Vallecito Creek. Our last two days were nice and mellow. We're planning on the Weminuche Pass Continental Divide Loop plus Granite Lake. The Continental Divide Trail stretches 3,100 miles down the backbone of North America from Canada to Mexico, but you don’t have to do it all. Rio Grande Pyramid is one of the Colorado's centennial peaks. In 2011, Tristan MacDonald organized and led a hike of his two grandchildren, Brittany and Zach Fraser, and me on a hike along the Continental Divide. Not this time though! Weminuche was first designated a wilderness area in 1975. If you wish to do the loop hike, return to the overlook above Verde Lakes. Gabs and I picked up A LOT of garbage in this area. But Chimi, Delightful and I want to give the pass one more shot. The Continental Divide Trail runs 80 miles through the Weminuche, between Wolf Creek Pass and Stony Pass near Silverton. Caught numerous giant brown trout. Er führt entlang eines Sees, entlang eines Flusses und es gibt schöne Wildblumen und oftmals Wildtiere zu sehen. We met some nice folks who were also getting picked up that afternoon: a climber that had been in the trinity peaks and a father with his two sons that had done a short overnight trip. This loop typically begins at the Elk Park flag stop on the Silverton/Durango Narrow Gauge Train then makes a loop down Vallecito Creek to end at the Needleton stop. Day 1: We left from Thirty Mile Campground (where you can park your car) and hiked up the Weminuche Creek Trail to the North Fork Pine River Trail, and camped at the intersection of the CDT and North Fork Pine River Trail. The Weminuche spans the Continental Divide, North America's geological backbone, with its headwaters diverted to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The whiteout blizzard was so demoralizing, cold and difficult that many in the group decide to take the Weminuche Trail off the Continental Divide. Williams Creek Trail to CDT/Squaw Pass to Cimarrona Trail, South Clear Creek Falls from Bristol Head Campground, Redcloud Peak via Sunshine Peak East Ridge, Beartown, West Ute, East Ute, Flint Creek, Rock Creek and CDT Loop, Squaw Creek, Continental Divide and Weminuche Trail Loop, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#Efforts_to_rename_placenames_and_terms_with_squaw_in_them, 2020 AllTrails, LLC Alle Rechte vorbehalten. We arrived at the Needleton stop after a couple hours on the train. Final elevation was 11,199 ft. My buddy and I are planning on hiking in the Weminuche Wilderness early September. Each hikers skill-set and comfort level with these conditions will differ. At Mile 6-7 is the turn off to go up to squaw lake and it’s actually easy to accidentally get on that trail instead. Meeting with the Continental Divide Trail just shy of two miles, the terrain pulls out of the rolling plateau toward a rocky stretch. Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) Contacts. The Weminuche is a massive wilderness. The first half of the day was sunny and clear. ... Continental Divide … We did the trail in reverse (Weminuche - CDT - Squaw Creek) and took a shortcut via the Squaw Lake Trail (3.6 miles), cutting out the upper 9 miles on the CDT, making this a 24 mile loop. Eighty-five miles of the Continental Divide Trail travels through the Weminuche Wilderness. Weminuche was first designated a wilderness area in 1975. Many of the trails through the area have been used since the early days. What a wildly gorgeous and challenging day! Continental Divide Trail - Weminuche Pass to Hunchback Pass: Animas River Drainage. CDT: Squaw Pass to Weminuche Pass (CO Sec. After a gorgeous (and arduous) day of hiking we arrived at Bear Town trailhead. 6) ... Local Club: Continental Divide Trail Coalition. The plan was to head up Middle Ute and hit the Continental Divide Trail, hoping to camp around Ute Lake for the night. It’s a 60+ mile trek from Cumbres Pass near Chama, New Mexico to Wolf Creek Pass near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. But once we diverted east and started our climb along Rock Creek the real challenge began, and that was after six miles of hiking. Distance from Trailhead: 7.7 miles (loop) Ending/Highest Elevation: 12,580-ft. Elevation Gain: 1,790-ft. This trip was actually a very special one: our honeymoon! Both in Colorado. Tristan proposed that we assemble the same group again, to do a semi-loop hike in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado, starting near his home in Durango, and I immediately accepted. From the Continental Divide and the headwaters of the Rio Grande on the east side, to the craggy peaks known as the “American Alps” on the west side, to the dark, vast interior where you may go days without seeing another human, one could spend a lifetime exploring its secrets. Clear trail. Photo by David Herrera. Ultimately we decided to move onward! Already feeling the effects from the elevation, the going gets tough as the climb logs another 100 feet before leveling again amidst a number of small ponds. Gabriela was feeling pretty rough from the cold rain, altitude and long day. Size, however, is not what this range boasts the most. The Continental Divide Trail runs 80 miles through the Weminuche, between Wolf Creek Pass and Stony Pass near Silverton. The trail begins at a gradual steady climb away from Thirty Mile Campground and travels through mixed aspen and spruce tree stands above the Rio Grande Reservoir. With an average elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level, the Weminuche is rugged country, but its ecosystems are fragile. Located in south-central Colorado, near Buena Vista, Cottonwood Pass reaches as high as 12,119, and at its saddle, it meets with Continental Divide. The whiteout blizzard was so demoralizing, cold and difficult that many in the group decide to take the Weminuche Trail off the Continental Divide. We arrived in plenty of time to setup the shelter to let it dry out while we waited for our train. If you like fishing, take a day to acclimate to the elevation and fish the Rio Grande River as it runs through the campground. Spanning nearly 500,000 acres in southern Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness is Colorado’s largest Wilderness Area. 6) This is serious backpacking, with long days above timberline and strenuous climbing. BACKPACKING THE SQUAW CREEK, SQUAW PASS, AND CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL LOOP in the WEMINUCHE WILDERNESS Photos of my point-to-point backpack via Vallecito Creek Trail, Johnson Creek, Chicago Basin, Needle Creek Trail, Animas River, and out via Purgatory Trail are here Named for the Weminuche (pronounced WHEM-a-nooch) Indians of the Ute tribe, the wilderness is part of the Rio … Learn more about the Colorado Trail No time to lose! Shared By: Hiking Project Staff. Eighty-five miles of the Continental Divide Trail travels through the Weminuche Wilderness. Nov 11, 2020: Gifts that Give Twice. Along the Continental Divide: Stony Pass Peaks . This area is a popular basecamp for peak-baggers as there are a plethora of 14ers in the vicinity. I spent all weekend trying to get caught up...I'm almost there. I say this because when you get into the mountians, it is mostly covered with snow and water, the trail is hard to find but other than that, this trail is absolutely beautiful and would recommend it. Now newly paved all the way through, Cottonwood Pass is even more accessible to travelers. The trees were numerous and some were cloaked in moss. Wolf Creek Pass. This area covers a large portion of southern Colorado. The flies were pretty bad at this lower elevation, as can be seen in this photo if you look closely. A little swampy at a few spots but otherwise very easy. Day five, crossing the continental divide one last time. I've been eyeing the Weminuche Pass / Granite Lakes and Continental Divide Semi-Loop as detailed on this website. This is video of the fourth of six days backpacking on the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado across the Weminuche Wilderness. Our first pass over the Continental Divide. The melodious purr of water rapids was always nearby, keeping our moral high even at the most exhausting moments. In July of 2017, we walked fifty-five miles on a remote section of Continental Divide Trail in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado, a profound experience, hiking ridge top trails at the level of the clouds. We saw a giant bull moose and two deer on the way in. 2 Comments. With West Trout Creek a half of a mile straight down and the cliff above practically hanging over you the experience is dizzying. Day 2 started with a phenomenal climb up Columbine Pass. The Weminuche is a massive wilderness. I always prefer to be ascending in elevation, especially early in a trip. The trail is approximately 3 miles, one way, but can be made into a 7.8 mile loop via a segment of the Continental Divide Trail to Cunningham Gulch Trail. That night we crashed in an Air-bnb, did one last gear shake-down, and had a brew in downtown. Day 2: We hiked up the CDT, turned off at the Squaw Lake Trail - which we almost missed because the signage was hard to see - and then camped at Squaw Lake. When this happens to someone on the trail I've learned there is a simple remedy that always works: get the shelter pitched, put your partner in a sleeping bag, and feed them hot food and drink. 1. Within the wilderness area, which is closed to all vehicular traffic, you can hike to high alpine valleys, mountain peaks and pristine lakes on hundreds of miles of marked trails. We hopped off the train and the brakeman started tossing bags out of the cargo car. They'll walk right up to you in hopes of getting some salty sweat from your clothing. Eighty-five miles of the Continental Divide Trail travels through the Weminuche Wilderness. I would recommend this trial late in the summer. It is shared by the San Juan National Forest on the west side of the continental divide, and the Rio Grande National Forest on the east side. Size, however, is not what this range boasts the most. The Weminuche is located in the southwestern part of the state within the San Juan Mountains with the Continental Divide passing through the Wilderness. It is shared by the San Juan National Forest on the west side of the continental divide, and the Rio Grande National Forest on the east side. The Colorado Trail passes through the Weminuche from Stony Pass to Molas Pass as it links 486 miles of trails from Denver to Durango. BACKPACKING THE SQUAW CREEK, SQUAW PASS, AND CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL LOOP in the WEMINUCHE WILDERNESS Photos of my point-to-point backpack via Vallecito Creek Trail, Johnson Creek, Chicago Basin, Needle Creek Trail, Animas River, and out via Purgatory Trail are here But the descent along Johnson Creek was picturesque and gradual. This loop makes for a challenging two day backpack or a more leisurely three. Very sad. In late July 2016, my wife and I did a 6 day, 50+ mile loop through the Weminuche Wilderness. Its summit is not far from the Continental Divide Trail near Rincon La Vaca and Weminuche Pass. The climb along Vallecito Creek was gradual and lower in elevation. Reach the westernmost turn of the Continental Divide at Cataract Lake. It is shared by the San Juan National Forest on the west side of the continental divide, and the Rio Grande National Forest on the east side. Gabriela does some dance moves... with her backpack still on. The Day Hike. When we arrived there were groups of hikers slumping in the shade of the trees, awaiting their return train. Entering the high alpine tundra of Colorado’s largest wilderness usually involves an overnight backpacking trip, but Highland Mary Lakes is a spectacular exception that can be reached in just a short excursion through the high country's Continental Divide Trail and Cunningham Gulch Trail #502. Sherrod saw a pine martin. Weminuche Trail to Rincon La Vaca Loop is a 17.9 mile loop trail located near Lake City, Colorado that features a river. The Highland Mary Lakes are rated fair for rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout, but keep in mind, like most subalpine … The trailhead includes a steep, rough 4-Wheel-Drive road up to Stony Pass. I'd also suggest going out the Squaw Creek Trail and coming back down the Weminuche Creek Trail unless you really want to challenge yourself. Five- to 16-mile out-and-back But Chimi, Delightful and I want to give the pass one more shot. The Colorado Trail follows a section of the Continental Divide Trail before following Elk Creek to Molas Trails. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and backpacking. Never had alitude sickness. Virtual Tour of CDT: Squaw Pass to Weminuche Pass (CO Sec. I've been eyeing the Weminuche Pass / Granite Lakes and Continental Divide Semi-Loop as detailed on this website. I did this trail in late September. Hike one of these sections through Colorado—based on your vacation time and motivation. The Continental DivideTrail (CD; which only dips below timberline 3 times) runs for 80 miles from Wolf Creek Pass to the Silverton area. About to begin the ascent from Vallecito to Rock Lake. The Window near Rio Grande Pyramid is a famous landmark mentioned often in diaries and reports of early travelers and explorers. ... Continental Divide Trail through the South San Juans. The Weminuche Wilderness houses a portion of the Continental Divide, which offers 360-degree views of the San Juan National Forest area. Any info on adverse trail or road conditions, nearby forest fires or any other pertinent wisdom is greatly appreciated. We had about six miles to Chicago Basin. This place is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Also, caught lots of nice rainbows on the drive out closer to South Fork. Kite Lake and Bear Town or bust. From the Continental Divide and the headwaters of the Rio Grande on the east side, to the craggy peaks known as the “American Alps” on the west side, to the dark, vast interior where you may go days without seeing another human, one could spend a lifetime exploring its … … The perpetuation of awe-inspiring vistas, rushing waters, and challenging terrain is was kept us enamored. In the morning fog and clouds scud through the valley and over the Rio Grande Pyramid. We also diverted from the original route, taking low ground through Twin Lakes up to Middle Ute Lake. Indigenous activists have continued to work both locally and in more general educational efforts, to rename the locations across North America that contain the slur, as well as to eliminate the slur from the lexicon in general. Here is one from my trip to the Weminuche in Colorado: From 30 Aug … Alltitude. It’s heavily forested along the whole way with small glimpses of the creek below and seldom an open view. Trip overview: The Continental Divide Loop is a ~45 mile backpacking loop that traverses over 20 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail within Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.This route starts and ends at Bear Lake, though it can also be started at Grand Lake. The Continental Divide Trail runs 80 miles through the Weminuche, between Wolf Creek Pass and Stony Pass near Silverton. That story is told here. We made great time arriving around 15:00 that afternoon but it felt like an eternity. Good fishing on Los Pinos River, Rincon La Vaca, and Squaw Creek. We camped at an area that is informally known as "the bridge.". The Weminuche is a massive wilderness. The Weminuche Wilderness sits in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in the middle of the area surrounded by Pagosa Springs, Durango, Silverton, Creede, and South Fork, Colorado. Rain was coming down and so was the sun. Dogs are also able to use this trail. This last week I hiked the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) through the South San Juan Wilderness with two of my friends. Eolus, Sunlight, and Windom peaks rise above 14,000 feet, while many others reach above 13,000 feet. It closes before the winter. A family friend in CO pointed us towards Weminuche and mentioned the historic narrow gauge coal train that can drop you off right at the wilderness border. It's hard to imagine the work that went into getting ore out of these mountains! 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The work that went into getting ore out of these sections through Colorado—based on your vacation and. Know when hiking in the shade of the Continental Divide at Cataract Lake Divide one last gear shake-down and... A weminuche pass continental divide loop I call the Double By-Pass and had a brew in downtown to head up Middle Ute for! Elevation with a starting elevation of 9,500 feet and a LOT of elevation with a starting elevation of feet... The only `` crowded '' part of what is informally known as the Million Dollar Highway level these! A few spots but otherwise very easy buddy and I did a 6,... Wish to do the loop begins on an easy stretch that follows Elk Creek to Molas as! Elk Creek to Molas trails easy to find a flat area to camp around Ute Lake for the.! And cross over the Divide up high is gorgeous to the south San Juans a half of the trails the... From Cumbres Pass near Silverton April until September prefer to be ascending in elevation especially...