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CO Fall Color Extravaganza - TR and Pics
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It's Gettin' Beautiful Up High
Silver Basin - Dark Canyon Loop
Mileage - At least 16, probably more like 17 (The guidebook said 13.5, the guidebook's FOS!)
Elevation gain - 3000 ft. give or take
Headed out Saturday morning and made the long drive out west toward Glenwood Springs and then South past Carbondale. Then took Gunnison County road 12 toward Crested Butte, and dodged an army of Photographers on my way to the trailhead. The drive itself was beautiful with the Aspens all around. At the TH there were plenty of people saddling horses. Interestingly I didn't run into any of these people on the trail. The trail started out as an old jeep road, really rocky, and climbed moderately past a couple of beaver ponds, at one turn in the road there was rocky outcrop that provided an outstanding view of the entire basin. I followed the Silver Basin trail away from the old jeep road, this trail climbed steadily along the base of the Ruby Mtns. The trail climbed through huge stands of Aspen which were all changing color. These were by far the largest Aspens I've ever seen, much larger than any of the aspens in the Eastern part of the state. As the trail climbed into the spruce forest I also noticed that the spruces in the basin were also huge. After reaching Silver creek the trail leveled out along the base of the Ruby's and passed by many incredible views of the Anthracite creek basin and the surrounding mtns. The Fall foliage display was astounding, there were yellows and reds everywhere. And the colors of the leaves were complimented by the red color of the Ruby Mtns. and the white and red of the Ragged Range.
The trail then dropped steeply toward Anthracite Creek before reaching a junction with the Dark Canyon trail. The portion of the trail back to the trailhead did not go through the canyon unfortuneatly. But it did rollercoaster up and down, up and down, a tiring experience for already tired legs, at least the views were there. I got a little lost at one point, but found the trail again easily. I followed this trail back to the old jeep road and then back to the trailhead, arriving many hours after I had planned to finish the hike due to the fact that the hike was much longer than stated in the guidebook, but with such a beautiful day hiking through the turning aspens, I guess longer was better.
On the way home I took the scenic route through Aspen and up over Independence pass where I took some nice pictures.
“Sounds like a great trip. I enjoyed it, and the pictures.”
“Glad you liked'em hobbit, I guess webshots is finally working now.”
“The Aspens are in full show right now - its awesome!”
“what guide book do you typically use???”
“Roam - I have a lot of Falcon Guides for different parts of the state. For this hike I used the 100 Classic Hikes in Colorado.
I just picked up a new Guide "The Complete Guide to Colorado Wilderness Areas" by John Fielder, you've got to get that book, it's fantastic.
How'd y'alls hike go?
last edited: 9/25/05 11:17:41 PM”
“well, it went not quite as planned but was good. We had quite an adventure - to say the least.
Need to go back and finish the four pass loop.”
“Well, I figured at least two nights out was the way to go for that, maybe even three. Camp at Upper West Maroon, then near Hasley Basin turnoff, then Snowmass lake.
Time to start daydreaming about the Dunes!
last edited: 9/26/05 12:24:25 AM”
How far of a drive was that for you Bison?
We were up in RMNP yesteday looking at the Aspens and listening to the Elk bugle. It was awesome.”
“It was maybe a four hour drive or so to the TH.”
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