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 > TR - Colorado Trip-2016'

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GpnAZ

Phoenix

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Posted: 09/04/16 01:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wife and I just got back from a 4 week adventure to western Colorado. We towed our Jeep in order to explore the backroads of the Colorado mountains. We first stopped at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for a couple days then on to Monument Valley for a day.

Our campsite at the North Rim
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Angel's Window at Cape Royal
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Cape Royal
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Sue & Peanut underneath the arch behind our campsite in Monument Valley
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Crying Woman Arch in Monument Valley
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North Window at Monument Valley
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We headed to Ouray Colorado from there for a full week of Jeeping, hiking and sightseeing.
We Jeeped to Yankee Boy Basin, Governor Basin, Mineral Creek, American Basin and Black Bear Pass over to Telluride. We also hiked on the Blue Lake Trail just outside of Ridgway, we got within a mile of it and had to turn back because of the rain, thunder and lightening! It was quite the beautiful trail and highly recommend it if you are in the area. We also did some of the museums in Ouray and soaked at the hot springs. Ouray was probably our favorite spot!

Governor Basin
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Jeep at the top of Yankee Boy Basin
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Mineral Creek
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Black Bear Pass
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Ingram Lake on Black Bear Pass
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Sue & Peanut on Black Bear Pass with Telluride in the background
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Bridalveil Falls just above Telluride
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We went to the Gunnison area after leaving Ouray, staying in a campground by the Blue Mesa Lake. We jeeped the Paradise Divide trail by Crested Butte, took a back road to Lake City one day, then traveled to the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, onto Crawford and Paonia and traveled on CR 12 to Crested Butte from there, that was a long day!

Emerald Lake near Schofield Pass by Paradise Divide
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Jeep road on Paradise Divide
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Back road to Lake City
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View from the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
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Aspen views along CR 12 to Crested Butte
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Taking time in Crested Butte for appetizers and refreshments after a long Jeep ride
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From Gunnison we traveled to Nathrop which is just south of Buena Vista and stayed at a campground with a site right next to the creek. We jeeped to the towns of St. Elmo and Tincup, going over Tincup Pass and Cottonwood Pass, really neat to see these old ghost towns that have been revived!

A couple old buildings in St.Elmo, the Miner's Exchange is still an active business
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Tincup Pass
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Old general store in Tincup
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We had lunch at Frenchy's Cafe in Tincup so had to buy a souvenir tin cup
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Sue on her rock lounge at Cottonwood Pass
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View coming down Cottonwood Pass
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From Lathrop we traveled to Leadville and stayed at a little campground by Turquoise Lake. We took the Leadville train up the mountain towards the Climax Mine. We took a tour of the Matchless Mine and we also went to the National Mining Museum, it was very interesting. The next day we jeeped up Mosquito Pass over to Alma and then to Breckenridge and over to hwy 91 to return to Leadville. Mosquito Pass is suppose to be the highest 4wd pass/road in North America.

Leadville train overlooking highway 91
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Sue posing with the engine at the turn around point
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Historic Matchless Mine
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Mosquito Pass, the highest 4wd road in North America
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Sue enjoyed exploring through the remains and rocks of the London Mine
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Sue & Peanut enjoying the view at Turquoise Lake
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From Leadville we journeyed to Aspen going over Independence Pass. We kept seeing signs warning that no vehicles were allowed over 35' in length with warnings of a $1,500 fine. Not knowing whether that length included our tow vehicle we decided to disconnect just so not to take any chances. I know we could have made it up and back down alright but it was much easier being disconnected, plus not being worried about getting a ticket or worse yet, having to back up! We camped at a little National Forest campground by the Maroon Bells area. This way we were able to drive to the Maroon Bells area without taking the shuttle bus. We poked around Aspen one day, but it was definitely another level above my pay scale! The second day we went to Maroon Bells there was a couple moose in the water, which were fun to photograph.

Maroon Lake at Maroon Bells at sunrise
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Maroon Bells area
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Moose in Maroon Lake at the Maroon Bells
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Moose in Maroon Lake at Maroon Bells
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Our campsite at Silver Queen Campground
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From Aspen we traveled to Carbondale, staying at a campground south of Carbondale. The first day we went to Glenwood Springs, checked our dog into doggie day care so we could go hike the Hanging Lake Trail. This was another really nice trail to a beautiful lake, but be forewarned it is a very popular hike and there was a lot of people and we weren't there on a weekend! We rented bikes one day and biked the Glenwood Canyon trail, it was scenic and a great bike path! The next day was our Jeep trip to Crystal Mill with a stop along the way to see the little town of Redstone (a really neat little town)! After Redstone we drove to Marble and then the bumpy trail to Crystal Mill! After photographing the Mill we continued a short distance to the little town of Crystal where Sue bought a book from the local author about the history of Crystal. We drove back to Marble where we stopped, aired up the tires and had lunch at the local BBQ restaurant, it was awesome!!

Hanging Lake by Glenwood Springs
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Sue at Spouting Rock which is just above Hanging Lake
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Crystal Mill
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Crystal Mill
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Carbondale was our last stop in Colorado and we sure hated to leave but our next stop was Hite Utah. I always wanted to see the head waters of Lake Powell, so off we went. Well there was bound to be some bumps in the road and I knew it was going to be a little warmer, but our campground that I reserved, the electricity wasn't working and it was in the nineties. We decided to spend that night and head to Natural Bridges National Monument the next morning. We drove through Natural Bridges the next morning and looked at each other and decided it was time to head home, a couple days early!

Sue and the rig at Hog's Canyon between Hanksville and Hite
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Hite Utah
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Bridge over the Colorado River in Hite Utah
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The beginning of Lake Powell, Hite Utah
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Hite Utah, our campground was in the shadow area in about the center of the photo
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We sure are happy with our new camper the AF811, the slide out made a significant difference in comfort for us!I hope everyone enjoys this trip report and I apologize in advance if the photo uploader doesn't size the photos to the proper size, I'm not very experienced at posting photos.


2018' RAM 3500 Laramie CC, DRW, 4X4, Cummins w/ Aisin transmission
2019' Host Mammoth, 480 watts of solar
2017' Jeep JKU Rubicon
2011' Airstream Avenue
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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 09/04/16 02:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a great trip Mark. You covered some really stunning locations. Definitely worth taking the Jeep along.

Thanks,

Steve.


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d3500ram

Colorado

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Posted: 09/04/16 05:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice!

Clarryhill

Midcoast Maine

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Posted: 09/04/16 06:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fabulous trip and absolutely stunning photos!! Greatly appreciate your sharing. Got to say that Peanut certainly seemed to be enjoying the adventure.


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bka0721

Republic of Colorado

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Posted: 09/04/16 06:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Amazingly beautiful country and photography! Thank you so much for taking us along with you, Sue and peanut. As well as taking the time to put this TR together and posting it.

All the best and always, safe travels.

b

Area13

Fox Island, WA

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Posted: 09/04/16 06:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice looking trip and photos!


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~DJ~

Boise, Idaho

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Posted: 09/04/16 06:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow Mark, just WOW!! What a great trip!! The photos are amazing. I would like to have a couple of them painted. Sure do admire your outfit. Hi to Sue.


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Jay Pat

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Posted: 09/04/16 07:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Enjoyed the images, very much!!!!!!
Pat


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work2fish

Colorado

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Posted: 09/04/16 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip report, looks like lots of fun and thanks for sharing it! I noticed that you are quite adept at HDR [emoticon].

I've lived in this state since I was 6 years old and there is still much more for me to see. The last week of September, I will be making our annual photography trek to Maroon Bells with my daughter and will camp at that same Silver Queen campground. This will be our fourth year going to Maroon Bells, we may try another area next year.

Cheers,
Mike


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54suds

adk mts.

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Posted: 09/04/16 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great report you refreshed many memories of some of our trips west

thanks Suds & Sherry


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