Colorado Trail Day 31: Snow, Mist and Rainfall, We Got It All

Got up after a very wet night. We had a torrential downpour that went on for at least 7 hours. So we pack everything wet hoping we have a chance to dry things out later. We will be hiking at 12,000 feet to 13,000 all day and need to hike around 19 miles to get off the high ridge and down below treeline in Elk Creek drainage.
There is so much rain the trail is like a creek

We have been seeing the mountain bikers that are biking the Colorado Trail, a race that started July 23rd with the faster finishers completing it in 3 days. Because they are racing, they are traveling light but conditions are wet, muddy and cold at high elevation.

A mountain biker walking his bike in the mud on the Colorado Trail

We are getting comments from them like I would rather be hiking or at least I’m still alive. One guy had to stop because of hypothermia. I am not surprised because the rain we have had in the past day is much more than the typical afternoon showers. In the last 2 days we have seen about 25 riders. We see one female climbing around Canby Mountain. I cheer her on and tell her I am glad to see a woman in the race. Doing it for the girls.

Snow, mist and rain – we got it all!

We pass over several high points close to 13,000 feet and start down towards Stony Pass. My God, we have hit the peak wildflower season in this area.

Beautiful Indian Paintbrushes in all different colors blanketed the high meadows
I’m pretty sure these Zpack knee high gaiters will never be the same.

It is incredible. Then we Cross Stony Pass and start towards Molas Pass. It feels like we are coming home and it is so beautiful in the high country.

The beauty of the San Juan Mountains will blow you away

Just the Facts

Total Miles: 19.3
Cumulative Miles: 399.4
Trail Segments: 23 and 24
Camp Elevation: 10,720 feet
Elevation Gain: 2784 feet
Elevation Loss: 3310 feet
Weather: stormy and threatening most of the day, rain to start with and rain in the evening 


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