Colorado Trail Day 14 – Hermosa Peak

Wildflowers, wildflowers, wildflowers.  The downside of doing the CT in July is the predictable clouds that gather every afternoon and become major thunderstorms which leave the trail a muddy mess. But the big upside is that wildflowers are abundant, particularly at the highest elevations.  

such a great view
such a great view

Molas Pass

We started the day bright and early at 7am at Little Molas Lake on the pass, but the weather looked dire.  It was cloudy and misty, and I hoped that it would burn off.  

starting on Molas Pass in the rain
starting on Molas Pass in the rain
flowers overgrew the trail
flowers overgrew the trail

It did – mostly. As the sun rose, it became clear how pretty this segment would be.  Huge views and meadows of wildflowers for the entire day.

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
a small waterfall
a small waterfall
wildflowers becoming more varied as we climb
wildflowers becoming more varied as we climb
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape Family)
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape Family)

The Climb

This was another day of big climbing up to a saddle at 12,500. The views became more stunning as we ascended.

climbing to saddle
climbing to saddle
looking to Rolling Mountain
looking to Rolling Mountain
the saddle/summit, of course with a snow field to cross
the saddle/summit, of course with a snow field to cross

The Summit

Finally we hit the summit at noon. We had a huge downhill in front of us and were excited to get back on the bikes.

looking down from saddle
looking down from saddle
wildflowers galore
wildflowers galore
wildflowers galore
wildflowers galore

As we descended we came upon a group of young women setting up camp with their horses.  It was so Colorado.

horses noshing at a beautiful spot
horses noshing at a beautiful spot
raging stream in distance
raging stream in distance
climbing up out of valley
climbing up out of valley
Grizzly Peak (no we didn't see any bears)
Grizzly Peak (no we didn’t see any bears)

Hermosa Peak

By 4pm we had luckily avoided rain, but the sky was getting dark with thunderclouds, so we decided to park at the base of Hermosa Peak for the night.

Hermosa Peak
Hermosa Peak

We ended up near a stream on the side of a rock fall.  

Kyle filtering water
Kyle filtering water

I got no sleep that night as every so often a big chunk of rock would tumble down the mountain and scare the s*^t out of me.  

such a great view
such a great view

But at least we had a great view out of the tent again.

Video Highlights

Gallery

 

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