ad05For those flying, plan to fly into Montrose, CO on Sunday.  We will do our best to coordinate our schedules so that you do not need to rent a car.  If you are driving, plan to arrive in Ouray in the afternoon for some social time and an orientation meeting in the evening.

light54Day one is the most rugged and physical as the trail is rough and we are still getting acclimated to the altitude.  We will go up and over Engineer Pass at over 12000 ft – what a thrill.  There are some amazing stops on the way up but the real fun is at the top and on the backside.  We will stop at an old miners cabin for a bit and then a stop at Whitmore Falls.  I can hear it now!  What an amazing place.  We will wind up at Lake City for a very late lunch.  You will be exhausted, tired and dirty at this point so the chance to eat and relax will be welcome.  You will want to bring a hefty snack to eat on the trail as it will be 3 or later when we get to Lake City.  Once we leave Lake City, we will go up and over Cinnamon Pass to the old mining town of Animas Forks.  Many buildings remain from this mining town and it is great to go in and look around.  Depending on our time and attitude – we will go up and over Hurricane Pass and Corkscrew Pass to Ouray – or we will take the long way around and drive on paved road back to Ouray.  You will be tired!

clearlakeDay two is a bit easier as we will go to Skyline Drive which is an amazing drive across the top of the world and then on to Clear Lake.  This lake was formed in the crater of a volcano.  It is beautiful.  We will have lunch in Silverton at an old saloon.  Great food – good prices.  A bit of shopping time in Silverton and then we will go to Animas Forks and do the trails we probably did not choose to do the day before.  But the rest of the afternoon will be spent up in the glorious Yankee Boy Basin.  Twin waterfalls and blankets of columbines make this the most beautiful place I have ever seen.  We will stay there until almost dark and then head back to Ouray.

light70Day three has the wow factors working overtime.  We start with Ophir – a short but amazing trail – that takes us to Telluride.  We will visit the amazing Bridal Veil Falls (300 ft tall) and then do lunch in Telluride – where we will also visit Dale Malmedal – a local photographer.  Then it is up and over Imogene Pass at over 13,000 feet.  We got snowed on there last year in July!  It is up there! There are some amazing stops on the way down and then we may have time for one more visit to Yankee Boy Basin and then back to Ouray.

On Thursday, we will leave out early for the drive back to the airport in Montrose.  Sound fun yet?  What a great time we are going to have.

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