CO – CDT, Wolf Creek Pass, Weminuche Wilderness (07/22)

My next destination on THE Colorado Trail was Spring Creek Pass. There’s no quick way to get from Silverton to Lake City. As per my style I looked for a hike to break up the drive.

So I cheated on The Colorado Trail with a hike on the Continental Divide Trail. Well . . . since these two trails share tread for 314 miles, many of the sections I’ve been hiking, I didn’t feel too bad, especially since I consider myself a section cherry picker. I’d just come off Segments 23-24, the best in my eyes thus far. I knew I would probably be disappointed, but I was hopeful. I’d heard many times the Weminuche Wilderness is a favorite.

Wolf Creek Pass holds special memories from the time I snowshoed to the Lobo Overlook a few years ago (blog link).

When I saw the communication towers, I was reminded of the crazy snowshoe trek. Instead of heaps of snow I found dark thunderstorm clouds. I spent the evening at the overlook storm watching. It was quite a show!

It ended with a lovely rainbow, before the heavy rain came for several hours during the night.

There was a lot of beetle kill trees making me think a lot had changed in this area since my book was published in 2016.

I love finding old signage.

Another new wilderness for me to mark off my map.

Much like hiking through burned forests I decided to focus on the smaller delights.

The first monkey flowers I’ve seen in Colorado.

First gentian blooms of the season as well.

Bino Bob was the perfect prop for this colorful mushroom.

Just like with burned forests, this standing dead trees require a lot of trail maintenance. I met a group of young women who were doing just that. They were amazing packing cross-cut saws through this wilderness. I was happy to have the opportunity to thank them.

I finally arrived at lovely Rock Lake.

Besides the lake, the blooms and creeks were a highlight, while the deceased trees were detracting.

The trail was in fairly good condition although there were several areas of erosion that might cause those with exposure concerns a bit of anxiety.

I liked the stretch with these rock formations highlighted by plentiful blooms.

This was a 9.4 mile round trip hike with 1,200′ elevation gain/loss. In my opinion there are a lot more WOW views in Colorado and I wouldn’t consider it “best” of anything.

In fairness, this book was published in 2016. There are three hikes listed which I’ve already done as part of The Colorado Trail and I agree they have been highlights for me as well.

  • Tenmile Range
  • Kokomo Pass
  • Porcupine Lakes
  • Cataract Ridge

I hiked Snow Mesa a little too late in the season for me to consider it WOW but I’m guessing a couple weeks earlier would have been flower power, especially if you hike it on a blue sky day.

North Clear Creek Falls

As I headed north on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my trip in April 2017 (blog link) when there was still plenty of snow around.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Broken Links? I'd love to hear from you!

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