San Juan Mountains

Over the long weekend of October 5, 2012, we headed out for a road trip to the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  We basically just explored around the Telluride and Silverton areas.  On Saturday we drove to Telluride and walked around there a bit.  I considered driving over Imogene Pass, but I had read that it was a pretty rough road, so I chickened out.  We then continued driving down Highway 145, which had some great fall colors, and then we did a little hiking at Kilpacker Creek.  We then drove over Ophir Pass.  This was a good 4×4 road, but it wasn’t too scenic.  It had some exposure and loose scree on the west side, but it wasn’t too bad.  We then dropped down to Silverton and spent the night there.  Silverton is pretty nice when it’s not being overrun by tourists from the Silverton-Durango train.
On Sunday it was cold in the morning, so we drove down Highway 550 and checked out some places, including Andrews Lake  and Hermosa Park.  The colors were also nice along these roads.  Eventually the day warmed up, so we headed back to Silverton and headed to the Highland Mary Lakes.  This was a fairly steep trail at a fairly high elevation, but it was a really nice hike.  The lakes were absolutely wonderful, even though it was late in the year and all the grass was brown.  This would be a great area to spend more time exploring.
We spent Sunday night in Ouray, and I was a little disappointed in the town.  We walked around town at night, and that was nice, but the town just didn’t do much for me.  On Monday we headed back towards home, driving over Grand Mesa and seeing the great aspen up there.  After coming down off the Mesa, we just had to make the long drive back to Salt Lake.
As always, Colorado did not disappoint.  I want to hike more in the Weminuche, and I’d like to drive more of the 4×4 roads in this area.

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