Uncompahgre and Weminuche

The weekend of July 24, 2009, Tracy and I headed back to Colorado for a three day weekend to climb another 14er and to do some backpacking in the Weminuche Wilderness.  We left work early on Thursday and drove all the way to Lake City, CO.  We got to the hotel about 12:30 am, and got up around 5:30 am to head up to Uncompahgre.  The road up to the mountain was a little rough the last couple of miles, but it wasn’t too bad.  When we got to the trailhead there were 4 or 5 cars there already, but it wasn’t too crowded.  We were the second group on the trail, so that was nice.  The hike up the 14er was really nice.  I don’t think this trail is quite as pretty as the trail up Handies Peak, but it was still really nice.  The hike up took us about 3 hours, and, as always, I skunked Tracy on the ascent below 14,000 feet, and then she skunked me once we hit 14,000 feet.  We haven’t figured out how she does this…I think it’s her competitive nature that makes her want to be the first to summit.  But the hike up and down was fine.  There was one short, rocky stretch that required a little care, but it wasn’t too bad.  All in all, though, this was a really nice hike up our 2nd 14er.
After getting back down the mountain, we drove around some and did a little bit of hiking in the Powderhorn Wilderness and the La Garita Wilderness.  Those mountains didn’t look like anything spectacular, but there was absolutely no one out there…for a nice, secluded trip, those wildernesses would be great.  We returned back to Lake City and spent Friday night there.
On Saturday we got up and headed to the Weminuche.  We decided to hike the Squaw Creek Trail because I had hurt my back pretty badly a couple of weeks earlier, so I wanted to hike an easy trail.  We did about 4 miles in on Squaw Creek, which was really pretty.  We didn’t see many people, but we were hit a couple of times with some decent storms.  There weren’t a lot of campsites along the first 4 miles of the trail, but we managed to find a decent site in the trees.  The mountains in this area weren’t anything spectacular, but it was pretty.  We haven’t been all that overwhelmed with what all we’ve seen in the Weminuche.  It might be prettier in the north-west corner, so we’ll probably still check out that area.  However, I’m not that committed to going back for a week-long trip.

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