For the second half of my three week trip out West in August 2016, I went to the Flat Tops of northern Colorado. I love this mountain range because the flat-topped mountains are unique and the area is just really pretty. The weather was bad for the first couple of days, though, so I spent the time driving around and car camping. I found an absolutely beautiful car camping site that was easily one of the best sites I’ve ever found, and I needed a crowbar to pull myself away from it. But the weather looked like it was going to ease up a little, so I headed up from Stillwater Reservoir for a three day loop.
The weather was perfect when I started, and it was great when I topped out on mountain. In fact, the weather was so nice when I got on top that I found myself taking my sweet time to enjoy the views. After a couple of hours, though, the weather took a drastic turn. First, a snow storm blew through and lasted about an hour. Then a thunderstorm started brewing. When that happened, I sat down with the map, looked around at my completely treeless surroundings, and realized that I was about to spend the night above treeline in nasty weather. The temperature had already dropped significantly and I was already getting cold, so I decided to do the prudent thing and slink back to the truck. This decision was made easier by the thought of that beautiful car camping site that I could enjoy in the dryness of the back of my truck.
It snowed on me all the way back down. I agonized over the decision, and every time I passed a campsite, I stopped and waited for a few minutes to see if the weather would let up. But every time I stopped, the clouds opened up again, and I kept moving.
Ultimately, I arrived back at the truck and moved back to the great camp spot, where I spent the next two days just walking, relaxing, and trying out my new packraft.
I do love the Flat Tops, and I’ll definitely be taking more trips back here.