Friday, September 26, 2014

Trails and Rail, Part One, High Mountain Passes

 Yesterday was my Beautiful Brides 28th birthday and I wanted to do something special for her. She wanted to take a train ride on the historic Durango/Silverton Steam Train. So I did her one better and put together a 4X4 Adventure and Train Ride to celebrate her special day. The adventure started with a shuttle ride from Durango to Silverton, where we changed over to our 4X4 Vehicle (more on Mild to Wild Adventures later). Once loaded up, we began our assent out of Silverton on CR 110 towards Corkscrew Pass and Hurricane Pass.

 Even though these are county maintained roads, they are maintained primarily for the 4X4 traveler. The roads are very rough and actually require 4 Wheel Drive in many places.

 The view from Hurricane Pass. Below is an un named alpine lake, the waters were a combination of deep blue and turquoise as well as being crystal clear and burrrrr cold!

 Most of our route took us above tree line. Here the road leads us to California Pass.

 California Pass is the highest pass along the Alpine Loop. Our route this day took us on a shorter version of the 65 mile loop, but every bit as scenic as the longer version.

 Our view to the north from 13,000 plus feet.

 Looking down into California Gulch from the Pass and our next destination.

 Road through California Gulch towards Animas Forks Ghost Town. (more on Animas Forks in the next post)

 Head waters of the Animas River. This little stream will turn into class 4/5 rapids and a pretty large river as it descends below Silverton and into Durango.

 One of the many abandoned mines along our route.

One of the many scenic vistas we enjoyed.

I had been wanting to take our Jeep out to this area for a very long time, however, with much research the question still remained on if a unlifted Jeep Liberty could make it. Now after seeing the trails our Jeep would have no problem, so I may head out there one more time before we leave on Tuesday.

We had a great time, as a matter of fact, such a good time and so much adventure it can't be put into one post, so we will be breaking it up into three. Stay tuned for Part II, Animas Forks Ghost Town.
Thanks for riding along and we'll see you right back here next time.

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