We have taken several great hikes around here, however, not many have been picture worthy. The leaves have fallen from the aspens so its mainly gray forest. Had we passed through here a week or two earlier, these forests would have been spectacular shades of gold!
We did however, take a fantastic hike up to Sharkstooth Pass. We read about some mining history in the area & the trail guide mentioned that there were some structures & interpretive plaques along the trail. I love old mining towns & structures so this sounded like a perfect hike.
Little Ms Dakota had to stay home for this one as she pulled her back out. A trip to a chiropractor in Durango is 2 days away for her, until then, she has some happy pills & a cushy couch.
The drive up to the trailhead was beautiful. The forest changed from hillsides of aspen trees to ponderosas & douglas fir trees. Mt Hesperus was becoming closer as we approached and you can see the Sharkstooth on the left side.
The trail started out with a fairly steep climb that lasted most of the way. The first hillside that came into view was completely covered in shale rock. From a distance it looked like dirt but it was all shale.
There were some very cute Pikas terrorizing Riley with their chirps. He was desperately trying to find them. John said they look like oversized gerbils but they were much cuter.
The climb continued and we came across the mining loop. Hopefully, you can zoom in on these plaques. First, they told the history of the gold that they mined out of this area.
Then they talked about the wash plant and water wheel that still remained.
Next, they talked about the cabins for the workers
They have attempted mining here recently, however, it hasn’t proved to be cost effective based on the amount of gold found.
It was really interesting to read this piece of history but it was getting late & we needed to continue on. As we climbed the mountain valley rose along side us and the veiws were mezmerizing. The colors of the rock varied from gold to red.
Riley needed a break on the way up so a rare picture was snapped with me in it.
The final ascent brought us to the top of the shale rock hill.
It was time to make the quick trip down as we were losing light pretty quick.
Our next stop is Mesa Verde with some interesting pics to follow.