Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Last Alpine Hike with Our Ouray Buddies

I've said it before and I'll say it again, blogging has turned out to be the best conduit for meeting like-minded folks on the road. Had it not been for this forum right here, we might never have met up with Mark and Bobbie, residents of Ouray and home of the Box Canyon Blog. We had a couple of excellent hikes with them last week and our last hike before heading on down the road was just as gorgeous and soul-satisfying as could be. Mark and Bobbie are very fortunate to call this awe-inspiring landscape their home.

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.


  1. I'm glad we took the back way down...a little more dramatic, a butt chilling experience :) Where are your fish photos?
    Travel well. It was great meeting up and we will see you down the roads less traveled.
    Mark and Bobbie, Lovely Ouray, Colorado.

    1. Oh photos! Mine didn't turn out as well as yours! Butt chilling is right; it just made the hike that much more memorable!

  2. You're so right about meeting people through blogging. It has been an unexpected pleasure! Mark and Bobbie took us on that hike, too. It was definitely one of the best hikes we've ever done, although there wasn't quite as much snow there last July. Mark and Bobbie are great Ouray tour guides and such nice people.

  3. As usual, your pics are just awesome! Love what you do!

  4. Looks like you got some pretty amazing hikes in! So glad you got to meet Box Canyon Blog...we missed them (by inches) in Bisbee, AZ earlier this year.


  5. What an amazing hike!! Sounds like hiking with John...why take the same way back when you can risk your life with a new path...haha! Love the adventure and the snow sledding and skiing.

    I am so looking forward to visiting Ouray and hiking there. Not to mention meeting Mark and Bobbie.

    It is hard to imagine the snow and jackets when it was 100 when we got to the car in downtown St. Louis with a 70 dew point.

  6. That looks like a beautiful hike.