It took 2 days to drive to Great Sand Dunes National Park. We didn't have reservations and they had sites available. We stayed for 2 nights.
The sand dunes were fun to hike. There was water in Medano Creek.It was only ankle deep. We were lucky because most of the time there is no water. Up on top of the dunes, you could see the creek and then it would disappear into the sand. A lot of great hiking trails.
We moved on to Lake City area. Camped at a park on Lake San Cristobal. We paid for 4 nights. This is the best site we have ever had. Waking up to the view of the mountains was great.
The first full day we drove the Alpine Loop. Nothing like being on the edge. A woman in town gave us good advise. She told us which way to drive the loop so we were on the mountain side of the road instead of the edge. There isn't much room for 2 vehicles passing.
On the loop we stopped at the American Basin. The wildflowers were at their peak. Stopped at Animes Forks, a old mining town and Engineer Pass.
On the next day we got up before it got light. We were off to summit Handies Peak (14048'). There were a few other hikers out on the trail. We had a 2750' elevation gain to the summit. The view at the top was breath taking!
The third day we thought we would go find out where the trail head for Uncompahgre Peak was. We planned on hiking it the next day. Found the road to the trail head and drove down it to the parking lot. By the time we got to the parking, I told Ray there was no way I'm riding back down THIS road again. We had most of our hiking stuff with us so off we went to summit another peak. It was a 7.6 miles round trip to the top of the 14309' peak. Near the summit we did meet up with 2 men that were in their 70s. If they could make it,so could I. Our elevation gain was 2900'.
Rested up the next day. Walked around Lake City and did some geocaching. Also paid for a couple more nights. With one more full day in the area, we were off to summit Redcloud Peak (14034') and Sunshine Peak (14001'). It was a long hike to the summit of Redcloud. Ray said he wasn't feeling real great so we didn't go on to the other peak. Three summits in 4 days was enough.
Sunshine Peak is in the background.
Uncompahgre is on the left in the background.
Off to Ouray. Paid for 3 nights at the Amphitheater Campground. Toured town and did some geocaching. Our first full day we hiked Bear Creek Trail. Hike it to Yellow Jacket Mine and back. About 8 miles round trip. I remember it down poured on the way back. it didn't last long.
The next day, our hike started from the campground. It was 5 miles round trip on the Upper Cascade Falls Trail. The trail went through Chief Ouray Mine bunkhouse and past the falls.
Well that was what we did in Colorado and now it was time to start for home. Two days of driving and we were back home and back to the real life. I HATED the drive home from our vacations.
Once we hit the road fultiming, I know we'll pack it in. But we'll have a lot more time to take it all in. Can't wait!!