Durango to Gunny
We originally planned to swing back around through Durango and head east, laying over in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. En-route to Pagosa, it was apparent the leaves were still a week or two from peaking in this area.
We decided to head over Wolf Creek Pass to South Fork. From South Fork, we headed north.
While heading up Spring Creek Pass, a good view of the headwaters of the Rio Grande River came into view.
From Spring Creek Pass, our route took us over Slumgullion Pass. The views from the north side of Slumgullion Pass are exquisite. To the west and southwest, the high peaks of the Weminuche Wilderness begin to rise.
Did you notice that the white stuff that decided to show up?
To the northwest rise several high peaks of the Uncompahgre Wilderness. Although their summits are in the clouds, one can still make out 14,015 foot Wetterhorn Peak (far left, rank 49) and 14,309 foot Uncompahgre Peak (center, rank 6). I’ve summited Uncompahgre several times. Wetterhorn will be my last 14er for a variety of reasons, if I ever finish them. I’m not far away.
Slumgullion Pass deposited us in Lake City, site of Alferd Packer’s cannibalism back in the late 1880s. Lake City also is the staging area for accessing many of the higher peaks of the San Juan Mountains. We took a little ride up Henson Creek to check out the snow, as well as the leaves. The above peak is Point 13,811. It's altitude is its official name. It is the 99th tallest peak in Colorado. It also is a bicentennial peak, meaning it is one of the two-hundred highest peaks in the state.
From Lake City, we ventured north to one of our favorite towns – Gunnison. The following morning we headed up Ohio Creek looking for gold. We also found some stands that have not turned yet. Many leaves in this area have already fallen.
Weather was developing yet again. So we decided to head back toward home. First we took one more detour to the old 1880s mining town of Pitkin.
The Pikin area had some good spots of color
But it won’t last for long. The ensuing weather will see to that.
These little hamlets can be fun to visit. You may find some intriguing sites.
The little town once was the largest in Colorado; now it’s one of the smallest.
According to a born-and-raised local, Pitkin boasts a year-round population of about 60.
The skies opened up and we headed for home. It was snowing heavily on Monarch Pass, and the snow was starting to stick on the top of the ski area.