This one is in recognition of all the men and women who have given their lives for this beautiful nation of ours. ‘Merica!
If you like getting high and wild, then Long Draw is the place for you. You’re in deep at Long Draw Reservoir, surrounded by high 12,000ft peaks and rugged, wild mountain valleys accented by wildflowers and rolling meadows.
If you like getting high and wild, then Long Draw is the place for you. You’re in deep at Long Draw Reservoir, surrounded by high 12,000ft peaks and rugged, wild mountain valleys accented by wildflowers and rolling meadows. Long Draw Reservoir is close to the end of Long Draw Rd. At the end of Long Draw Rd is the trailhead for La Poudre Pass, a hiking trail that takes you over the continental divide and ends in Rocky Mountain National Park. From this trail you can also access the ghost town sites of Lulu City, once 40 buildings strong, and home to several hundred residents and a post office, and nearby Dutchtown, the outcast town founded by those cast out of Lulu City.
Almost immediately after cresting Pennock Pass, you are granted with magnificent views of the Mummy Range and the Stormy Peaks. The rest of Buckhorn Canyon offers a bounty of offroad trails relatively close to town.
Buckhorn Canyon is located roughly halfway between the Poudre Canyon and the Big Thompson Canyon (U.S. 34). Larimer County Road 44H follows Buckhorn Canyon before crossing Pennock Pass and intersecting with Pingree Park Rd (CR 63E). Buckhorn Canyon is a great back route to/from Pingree Park, and also offers its own assortment of recreational opportunities. The road is maintained and generally passable by all vehicles. However, inclement weather can give vehicles with 4WD or AWD an advantage. Additionally, there are numerous spurs and forest roads accessible from Buckhorn Rd, many of which are offroad trails.
The Gunnison River drops an average of 34 feet per mile through the entire canyon, making it the 5th steepest mountain descent in North America.
When you’re out on the western slope screwing around in Montrose trying to find a place to camp, paying a visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a natural part of the journey. In November, the place is damn cold, and not coated with layers of tourists. In March, the story is somewhat similar. The north side of the thing has a road running there, roughly south from Paonia, CO and crossing the Gunnison River at Blue Mesa Reservoir. You can actually get from Glenwood Springs to the Black Canyon by going south through Carbondale, then more south via State Highway 133 to Paonia, and linking up with State Highway 92 which will take you further south to U.S. Highway 50, along the north side of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The views are actually cooler from the north side rather than the actual National Park, but both are pretty.
The area offers plenty of recreational opportunities, and it’s a blast to go screw around out here on the weekends.
The descent into the mighty Laramie River Valley conjures images of the first explorers descending upon the untamed, wild Rocky Mountain valleys. Via Deadman Road (County Road 86), the descent is relatively sudden, and soon after several switchbacks backdropped by the towering Medicine Bows, a great expanse of valley is revealed through the trees. This is an area seen by few. Certainly, the experience is reminiscent of the descent from Kenosha Pass into South Park on U.S. 285, except several orders of magnitude less trafficked.
The Canyon Overlooks provide magnificent views of the Canyonlands and of the White Rim. It is truly an experience found nowhere else on Earth.
Needles Overlook is a little out of the way for mainstream Moab-goers, but it provides fantastic views of the Canyonlands area. There are three overlooks along the area just southwest of the town of Moab, known as the Canyon Overlooks. Needles overlook is the furthest south and the only one in which access is paved. The northern-most is the Anticline Overlook, which is a well-maintained gravel road its entire access route. The middle overlook access requires 4wd and is called the Canyonlands Overlook.
So I tend to end up in random places with little to no planning somewhat more frequently than I like to admit. Such as spontaneous road trips to Laramie, or wherever, often times with no real good reason. What ended me up in Glenwood Springs was actually a little bit planned, however. Although in the “well check-in is by 7:00 so I should be there any time between 4 and 7. Since I don’t usually feel like doing tons of interstate driving in one go, I like to make Moab a two day trip from Fort Collins. Then you can relax and enjoy the journey. Well luck has it that Glenwood Springs is a great halfway point between Fort Collins and Moab. Since I’m also cheap and don’t see the need for flashy hotels for $90/night, it works because Glenwood also has a nice little hostel that’s only $25/night for a bunk. A bunk and a hot shower is all a man needs travelling. Since this was November the first time I stayed, I opted for the warm bunk as opposed to camping.
Something a little different was in the works for New Years this year. I wasn’t exactly feeling the whole “getting drunk and staying out way too late” thing that has happened the past however many New Years. I had a three day weekend off from work and no school, so naturally a short little trip was in order. Fortunately a friend was in the same boatso we decided to go hang out in Salida for a change.