Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dallas Creek (9/24/2016)

Picking up where I left off on Saturday, I decided the best weather that day would be over the Dallas Creek Road.  This road leads into the Uncompahgre National forest and ends after nine miles at the trailhead for the Blue Lakes Hiking trail.  Although I'm told it is beautiful, I've never made that hike, which is 3.5 miles and 1600 feet of elevation gain to reach the first lake.  Other lakes are farther and higher, up to 2400 feet higher than the start, and the summit of Mount Sneffles is even higher...over 14,000 feet ASL.  I should have done it when I was much younger.  Anyway, Dallas Creek flows down from Mount Sneffles and through a series of valleys and canyons, finally joining the Uncompahgre River near Ridgway.

This road, also known as County Road 7, is a favorite of mine and other photographers interested in fall color.  Between hikers, photographers and the few residents, the road gets lots of traffic and becomes very rough by this time of year.  Washboard and potholes don't require 4WD, but they make it uncomfortable in any vehicle.  This is mitigated by the beautiful scenery along the way, and the spectacular view of the Sneffles Range near the end.  It's unfortunate that I chose to visit on a day with so much cloud cover, especially over the mountains, so the photos fail to capture the true color and beauty of this place.

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