CO – Ice, Fuller and Island Lakes – San Juan NF

This VERY popular trail, not far from Silverton, met my criteria for wanting to witness the aspen display their fall colors. 

Lower Ice Lake was not much more than a pond this late in season. 

I was confused by this waterfall that looked to be encased in ice. 

Upon closer inspection I found bleached rocks. 

As I crested the hill, I was in awe by the color blue of Upper Ice Lake. It was a WOW moment! This is an unedited photo. 

Then it was off to find Fuller Lake

Fuller Lake

I climbed up further and obtained this view of Fuller Lake, an unnamed pond, and Upper Ice Lake

I was trying to connect to this trail but decided once I reached this talus field that it just wasn’t worth the effort. 

The pond looked pretty inviting on my return trip. 

Then it was time to find Island Lake. If you look closely on the right side of Upper Ice Lake you’ll see the faint trail to Island Lake. 

Island Lake was a sweet heart-shaped lake. 

If you are uncomfortable with exposure, you might want to skip Island Lake. There was a large section that was pretty sketchy as it looked like an avalanche had wiped out the trail. I watched one gal almost lose it. Thankfully she had a lucky recovery.

A nice view back into the Upper Ice Lake basin as I descended from Island Lake

The Island Lake trail also provided a good perspective down to Lower Ice Lake and the canyon from which I’d come. 

There were several waterfalls along the way, but the sun didn’t cooperate for photo-worthy captures. 

Hike Details:

  • Date(s) Hiked: September 18, 2017
  • Mileage (per ViewRanger): about 10 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain/Loss (per ViewRanger): 4,000 feet
  • Max/Min Elevation (per ViewRanger): 9,863′ to 12,905′
  • Trail Conditions:
    • Tree obstacles: Minimal
    • Overgrowth: Obvious recent trimming
    • Signage: Minimal
    • Terrain: Steep in places, but in general excellent conditions
  • Navigation Skills: There were a few social trails to waterfalls, campsites and peaks which could be a little confusing on the way to Upper Ice Lake. The trails to Fuller and Island Lakes are pretty obvious but unmarked.
  • Water availability: Plentiful
  • Camping availability: Moderate below tree line; there is also nearby dispersed camping and campground options.
  • Solitude: Expect plenty of company. It’s a busy trail.
  • Bugs: None
  • Wildlife: None
  • Precip: None on this day
  • Temp: Unknown but guessing 40-60
  • LNT: excellent given the amount of use this trail receives.
  • Jan’s Cherry Picker Delight Scale: 5 cherries (out of 5) LOVED it!

Tips:

  • Avoid crowds by starting early, hiking on weekdays and later in season. Be mentally prepared for the trail being busy.

Links:

Resources:

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Chasing Spring 2017

You may recall my February post, “HELP Readers, I’m in search of early Spring.” I received many great ideas and spent time marking maps with possible destinations. However, it became quickly apparent that my wishes were unrealistic. I was not going to find my idea of spring in March this year and I was much too impatient to wait until April to begin my spring jaunt.

Detailed posts will be forthcoming, but until then, here’s a summary of my spring jaunt.

Length of Trip:  78 days (February 27 to May 16)

States Visited: 8 (California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming)

National Parks, Monuments, Recreation Areas Visited: 10 (yes, I’ve been making good use of my annual pass)

Lassen Volcanic, California

Great Basin, Nevada

Arches, Utah

Canyonlands, Utah

Natural Bridges, Utah

Capitol Reef, Utah

Chimney Rock, Colorado

Rocky Mountain, Colorado

Fossil Butte, Wyoming

Hells Canyon, Idaho

Miles Driven: 6,851 (averaged 87 miles per day, 25.2 miles per gallon, cost was around $700 at $2.15-$2.50 per gallon)

Activity Days: 49 (averaged 4.5 days per week)

Night Spots:

Slept in Car (39 nights, with only 5 in campgrounds)

Friends/family (22 nights, special thanks to all who hosted me)

Tent (9 nights while backpacking – not nearly enough)

Cabin (4 nights on a backcountry ski adventure)

Motel (4 nights, two nights shared)

Photos Taken: 36 gigs (I’d call that a successful trip)

With summer just a few days away, I think it’s high time to share some of those photos and stories.

HELP Readers, I’m in search of early Spring

After spending the early season in the desert the past couple of years, I’m craving my version of spring complete with green grasses, wildflowers, waterfalls, and butterflies. 

Where o’ where shall I jaunt?

When:

March through June

Where:

Western United States

Parameters:

Day hikes, multi-day overnighters, 50-100 mile loops would be rad.

Criteria:

Cherry Picker Delights!

Please comment below or email jansjaunts-wordpress@yahoo.com.

 

 

Thanksgiving . . . a day for giving thanks

top-100-badgeRecently I received notification from Feedspot, an RSS reader service, that my blog had been selected as one of the Top 100 Hiking Blogs on the web.

According to their site,  blog selection is based on the following criteria:

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

Being suspicious by nature, my first thought was is this a scam or marketing ploy. So I’m ranked #62, what does that mean and who cares?

top-100-listing

top-100-ployIt is indeed a marketing ploy, but to be fair they do offer a one-year free trial.

Feedspot updates their stats weekly, so who knows how long I’ll be on the list but it’s an easy way to check out blogs others seem to like.

With many familiar names on the Top 100 Hiker Blog List, this notification gave me the opportunity to introduce you to some of my favorites and to thank them for the content they provide. You can subscribe directly to their blogs if you aren’t a fan of an RSS service such as Feedspot.

#1 Section Hiker – It doesn’t surprise me to find Philip Werner in the #1 spot. His reviews, recommendations and educational posts are top notch.

#13 The Hiking Life – Cam “Swami” Honan is a man of international travel with more miles on his legs than most anyone I know.

#29 PMags –  Paul “Mags” Magnanti  is a well known name on the Trail Show and now Trail Groove Magazine.

#42 Walking with Wired – Erin “Wired” Saver may be the most well known blogger besides Section Hiker in the world of social media. Wired provides extremely detailed blogs of long trails. Her willingness to share and mentor is unparalleled in this regard.

#45 Lady on a Rock – Christy “Rockin'” Rosander was my first blog addiction. I think she was one of the first to open her knowledge banks of experience by creating a very useful blog. Not only does she inspire through her physically demanding adventures, but leads by example through her creation of tHInK outsidE, an educational module for kids.

#57 Bike Hike Safari – Brad “Shepherd” McCartney is a man of action. In many ways his lifestyle mirrors mine. He worked hard, saved harder and is now living life on the move.

#76 The Mountains are Calling – Mary “Monkey Bars” Emerick shares tidbits of her hikes, just enough to entice others to get out and explore, but the difference between hers and many other blogs like mine, is that she’s a published author and wordwise storyteller.

A couple of other blogs I follow worth mentioning include:

  • Not Waiting To Live – Manny was one of the last to finish the PCT this year. I stumbled upon his story just as he was regrouping in Mazama to, as I like to say, “live to hike another day.” His philosophy is one that resonates with me. “Simply put, I was waiting to live. Young, capable, and free to pursue my own American Dream I decided to walk into a more deliberate life.”
  • Patches Thru – Patches produces quality content. You can expect exceptional photos and well-researched documentation presented in an easy-to-read interesting format. Once again, a kindred spirit, “I am a maverick neuroscientist that has traded a university faculty position for a life on the trail.
  • Rambling Hemlock – Anyone who reads my blog knows that Joan aka Hemlock is one of my favorite adventure buddies. Her blog is filled with great photos, interesting factoids, and funny stories.
  • Dusty House Adventures – I recently discovered Angeline Duran and have been impressed with her posts. They remind me a bit of a National Geographic documentary. Her story, “I’m a mom, writer, hiking guide, documentarian, show host and adventurer.

What are your favorite blogs?

Since I’m giving thanks, I’d also like to give a shout out to Gossamer Gear. They have included my posts in several of their newsletters including two of my most popular posts to date.


Biggest thanks of all go to YOU my READERS!!!!

I create these posts because I love to share and inspire.


References:

Where’s Jan?

I’m happy to report my lack of posts is not due to lack of adventure, instead it’s just the opposite. I’ve just returned from a 3-month adventure where I jaunted plenty and will eventually have lots of photos and stories to share.

Until then, I’ll give you a preview.

I drove nearly 9,000 miles through California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Washington and Oregon.

I visited many national parks, recreation areas and monuments including

  • Lassen Volcanic
  • Mono Lake
  • Death Valley
  • Grand Canyon
  • El Morro
  • El Malpais
  • Petrified Forest
  • Glen Canyon
  • Escalante Grand Staircase
  • Capitol Reef
  • Flaming Gorge
  • Teton
  • Yellowstone
  • Glacier
  • North Cascade
  • Olympic

I hiked a bit on some of the long-distance trails including the

  • Arizona Trail
  • Continental Divide Trail
  • Pacific Northwest Trail
  • Pacific Crest Trail

I lived out of my SUV primarily (oh the stories I have to tell).

It was truly a memory-making trip, and I can’t wait to relive it as I review photos and create blog posts.

 

Grizzly Country Adventure Buddies

My 2016 adventure wish list includes trips into areas with legitimate recommendations against solo travel.

I’d like to spend some extended time in these areas this summer/fall. With a currently open itinerary, recommendations are welcome.

  • Wind River Wilderness, Wyoming
  • Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Montana/Wyoming
  • Glacier National Park, Montana

Contact me at jansjaunts-wordpress@yahoo.com if you’re interested in being my adventure buddy for a week or two.

The Liebster Award

Jan’s Jaunts and Jabberings!

A few weeks ago I saw the first mention of the Liebster Award on Stick’s blog. With my curiosity piqued, I searched Google to discover a blog entry by Lorraine Reguly describing the rules of this pay-it-forward type award.

I was bestowed this award by my friend Muk Muk who is current blogging as the Serial Nomad.  Last year she had one of the most popular, prolific and emotionally honest blogs while hiking the PCT (Mexico to Canada 2013). I had the privilege of meeting her as she passed through far northern California and happily provided a bit of trail magic while sharing in her journey as an enthusiastic hiker cheerleader.

Over the past few years, as I’ve become more entrenched in the hiking, backpacking, PCT/AT/CDT world, I’ve found it’s very interconnected, with social media providing introductions and opening many doors. This award offers me the opportunity to introduce my readers to some of my favorite bloggers and through their blogs more favorites, more opportunities, and so the chain continues.

By accepting this award,

Rule #1 – answer the 11 questions provided by Muk Muk

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’d like to say a hiker or backpacker, but I think that’d be lying . . . so instead I’ll say I had mountains and wilderness in my blood. My dad worked for the forest service with lookout radio maintenance as one of his jobs and my mom spent her early years living in a lookout.

2. What’s your most memorable dream?

Dream? I dream of dreaming! REM sleep seems to elude me, so I’ll settle for the pleasant daydreams I have occasionally but nothing to write home about.

3. Do you believe in fate and/or destiny?

I believe things happen for a reason.

4. What makes you really happy?

This one’s easy, look at my blog. Trees, the smell of pine, beautiful clear alpine lakes, gray granite, snow covered peaks, clouds, sunrises and sunsets . . .

5. What’s the kindest thing another human-being has ever done for you?

My friend Norma taught me to be me. I was extremely fortunate to have met Norma in my early 20’s. If not for her, I would have lived a much different life, one I fear would have been filled with much unhappiness.

6. What’s the kindest thing you’ve done in return?

Good question, I think I’ll let my friends answer that one.

7. Where does fear prevent you from travelling to?

Up until this past year, solo backpacking was a fear which prevented me from traveling to areas on my bucket list. After conquering this fear, I’m excited to go forth and conquer!

8. If you could have one super power, what would it be?

I’ll request two. First is TIME and the second is life balance, something that has seriously eluded me.

9. Who would you most wish to sit next to on a 14-hour flight?

Might as well put Muk Muk first on that list.

10. How do you make the world a better place?

I love to teach and share, and I hope that by sharing my passions, a few find the world a happier place.

11. Other than love, complete the sentence: All we need is….?

Money? at least enough to buy our play toys and to travel 🙂

Friends? absolutely! they enrich my world

Time? wandering and wondering would make the world a better place

Rule #2 – Nominate 11 bloggers

Since I’m a bit of a renegade rule breaker, I choose to nominate 5.

1. Lady on a Rock

2. The New Nomads

3. Embracing the Path

4. The Mountains are Calling

5. Rambling Hemlock

Rule #3 – Provide those nominees with 11 questions

1. How old were you when you first camped? hiked? backpacked?

2. What piece of outdoor gear have you had the longest (that you still use)? what is it and why have you not replaced it?

3. Do you have a favorite wilderness area? or favorite trail?

4. When on an outdoor adventure, what is your favorite time of day?

5. What is your favorite season and why?

6. Do you have a favorite outdoor adventure related book, film, or website that you like to recommend?

7. Who was/is your outdoor adventure mentor?

8. What has been your most memorable misadventure?

9. What lesson(s) would you most like to share about trail life?

10. They say we pack our fears in our backpack, what fear do you pack in yours?

11. Name one item near the top of your bucket list.

Rule #4

 Thank You Muk Muk for the Nomination