29 July 2015

Stardate 2015.575

The Anthracite Range has its head in a fog.

Ohio Pass – Crested Butte's Back Door

Ohio Pass connects the Gunnison and Ohio Creek Valleys with Kebler Pass and Crested Butte. It's very scenic. During the fall colors, it's simply on fire. Moreover, on any given fall day, you may inch your way through a herd of cattle being driven down to winter pasture. It's like being in the old west for several hours. It's especially fun to watch the cow dogs work; they're amazing.

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them doggies rollin',

Heading up Ohio Pass, Colorado, with the Anthracite Range in the background

We're starting our ride up Ohio Pass, with the Anthracite Range in the background.

Anthracite Range, Colorado

The mountain gods be a brewin' something.

Lots of aspen grow here; you ought to see this place in the fall!

If you were to wade out into the quakie jungle, which I highly recommend, the understory would be waist- to chest-high.

Along Ohio Pass, Colorado

Ohio Pass road is not difficult. The average car usually has enough clearance. Nonetheless, there are some rock and drainage surprises to clear; this can change from storm to storm. The pass is narrow, steep and exposed (don't drive off the edge) in places. Long vehicles and trailers are not allowed.

Waterfall, Anthracite Range, Colorado

An enchanting waterfall adorns the eastern terminous of the Antracite Range.

The Castles, West Elk Mountains, Colorado

After riding Ohio Pass, we began the five-hour journey home (Yes, we take the long scenic route.). While driving down Ohio Valley, afternoon storms rapidly gathered over The Castles, eastern ramparts of the West Elk Mountains.

Parry Clover, Trifolium parryi, Pea family

Parry Clover
Trifolium parryi
Pea family

The clover was getting after it at the confluence of the Ohio Creek and Gunnison Valleys.

Lupine, Lupinus argenteus, Pea family

Lupine, Lupinus argenteus, Pea family

Lupinus argenteus
Pea family

Reminiscent to Ride the Rockies, our route home took us up the Taylor River Valley to Taylor Park and 12,126-foot Cottonwood Pass. Much of the montane forest ecosystem was quilted together with Lupine.

I think my next blog will be a foray into the colorful Elk Mountains. Stay tuned...



  1. I wonder if our next alpine adventure will be quilted with wildflowers??? :)

  2. Ooh, lots of great wildflowers here! And the mountains are pretty nice too. What a glorious place.

    Be careful wading under those aspens - that tall white flower looks like hogweed or cow parsnip, contact with which can cause photodermatitis.

    Do the Anthracite Mountains contain any, I wonder? Or are they named for their colour?


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