Several small lakes and the ruins of the Bullion King Mine sit high up in alpine meadows. We drove a narrow, twisty and steep dirt road just South of Red Mountain Pass off Hwy 550 to access the area. Parked at about 11,600 feet, we hiked up the road above the tree line, flanked by hillsides beginning to burst into bloom. Large snow patches created dozens of snow melt streams flowing off the mountainsides all around us.
|That's our truck parked just off the road.|
Hwy 550 is in the valley far below us.
|It seemed like a good time to proceed on foot...|
|Up the road into alpine heaven!|
|Remains of the Bullion King Mine.|
|Strange substances had boiled out of a mine shaft long ago.|
|Making our way around and above the lake.|
|This second small lake was at 12,800 ft, our highest point on the hike.|
Notice how sparse the vegetation is at this point!
|We decided to find a different route down the mountain.|
|We picked our way down through the loose shale.|
|Glissading down a snowy slope!|
The first person down went the slowest...the last person down (me) fairly flew!
|It was pretty steep, with boulders to stop you!|
|Continuing to pick our way down the steep slope...|
|This section was not as steep and we found we could sort of ski down!|
|The pointy peaks on the right are the Needles,|
which we had seen from Durango a couple weeks ago.
It was another incredible hike in some of the most beautiful country we have ever seen. Thanks, Mark and Bobbie, for sharing lovely Ouray with us and for dinner in your wonderful home. It's been great getting to know you and we hope our paths cross again, somewhere, sometime.
We've got one more full day in Ouray, then we're off to Gunnison as the weather heats up around here.