Scary! 14260 feet Mt Evans Colorado Drive 9 of 17 DOWN Compare with Pikes Peak
Highest auto road in the USA - Mount Evans Colorado. Prettier than Pikes Peak and NO DUST to spoil the tundra. However, most people will find that it is scarier to drive.
Neighboring towns: Georgetown, Silver Plume, Idaho Springs, Golden, Brookvale, Highland Park, Evergreen, Conifer
One of the three fourteeners visible from Denver, Mount Evans dominates the mountainous horizon west of the city. Its great sculpted eastern face greets the dawn each day, capturing the morning light. Much of the wilderness lies above timberline, and place names such as Sawtooth, Frozen Lake, and Abyss Lake offer a hint of the rugged glacial terrain that characterizes the area.
Crawling up into the wilderness, but outside the circuitous boundary, a paved road runs to the top of Mount Evans, the highest paved road in America. Abyss Lake, surrounded by fabulous scenery, rests in a rock-rimmed gorge at 12,550 feet in the heart of the wilderness. You can reach it by hiking seven strenuous miles (one way) up a glacier-carved valley.
The area's 14,000 foot peaks and proximity to Denver combine with the summit road to draw large numbers of visitors. Nevertheless, the Mount Evans Wilderness contains notable biological features, harboring not only alpine tundra, but arctic tundra as well. This is one of the few places south of the Arctic Circle, where such tundra is found. It differs from alpine tundra by virtue of its moisture, as it contains countless small pools of water. In contrast, most tundra in Colorado is dry and brittle once uncovered by snow. The Mount Goliath Natural area contains another of the region's unusual features - a prime stand of bristlecone pine. These gnarled elders of the forest often live 1,500 to 2,000 years, growing at infinitesimal rates. The trees' twisted and contorted trunks offer stark evidence of their bitter fight for survival against the elements.
Two species of animals less frequently observed elsewhere have become popular attractions here. A herd of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep live around Mount Evans, and mountain goats are frequently seen from the summit road. The vast expanses of tundra offer visitors numerous opportunities to spy more common critters, including ptarmigan and yellow-bellied marmots.
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK TIPS | What to Do, Where to Stay, Hiking, Dining
In this video, I discuss my Top Tips for visiting Joshua Tree National Park.
JOSHUA TREE VLOG-
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Located close to Palm Springs California, Joshua Tree National Park is comprised of the Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert. There are three entrances to the National Park, from the West, North and South. The southern entrance to the park will lead you in through the Colorado desert, where, quite interestingly, you won’t actually find any Joshua Trees.
The activities in Joshua Tree range from camping to very accessible hiking, strenuous hikes, backpacking trips and of course legendary climbing— and let us not forget star gazing. After all, Joshua Tree is dark sky park which means, the little-to-no light pollution allows the stars to put on a magnificent show.
WHERE TO STAY
Of the 16 campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park, only half of them can be reserved ahead of time. During the low-season, all campgrounds are first-come, first serve. The campground that will work best for you will best be determined by what amenities you are looking for and what area of the park you are most wanting to explore. If you select a campground that is on another side of the park than your areas of most interest, you will end up spending a lot of time in the car traveling from one part of the park to the next. I personally have only stayed at Black Rock Campground but in the future, my eyes are definitely on White Tank Campground, Jumbo Rocks Campground and Ryan Mountain Campground.
During peak season, it is not unusual for the campgrounds to be filled up even mid-week. A great back-up plan to camp is utilizing the BLM dispersed camping that is available outside of the Park’s south entrance. Just remember that this camping is completely primitive.
Another lodging option, that I actually took advantage of during my most recent visit, was the really wonderful AirBNB community in Joshua Tree.
While Joshua Tree National Park has many picnic areas, there are absolutely no grocery stores or restaurants in the vast National Park. You will need to pack in with you what are you wanting or needing to consume during your trip.
WHERE TO HIKE
There are many miles of hiking available in Joshua Tree National Park. However, some key things to keep in mind are that pets are not permitted on any of the hiking trails. Also, the ten essentials are absolutely necessary for any length of hike in the park. You should absolutely plan to bring more water than you think you need. Even where it is not particularly hot, the desert is very dry and dehydration can sneak up on you.
Hiking with kids or non-hikers. Some places I would recommend visiting in this case would be Skull Rock, Barker Dam and Keys View. If you are looking for a more challenging hike with a still very well defined trail, I would recommend either the Panorama Loop or Ryan Mountain (for an added layer of excitement this can be done to view sunrise or sunset).
There are also trails in Joshua Tree that explore old mines, there’s Lost Palms Oasis as well as Warren Peak. Personally, I would suggest that if you are not particularly well versed in desert orienteering, I would highly suggest that you bring a GPS device. In any case, you should leave a detailed plan of your itinerary with someone that you trust. Getting lost in this desert is not forgiving but easily done.
If you are looking for a backpacking experience, the 8 mile one-way Boy Scout Trail and 35 mile one-way California Riding and Hiking Trail are great options depending on how long you are looking to spend out in the backcountry.
*Some links in the description may be affiliate links. This means that I receive a small compensation if you use the link provided to purchase the item. The affiliation has no influence over my decision to feature a product.
Alamosa Campground - Rio Grande National Forest
Alamosa Campground is located on the Alamosa River about 4.5 miles above the Terrace Reservoir Dam
Natural contaminants in the river make it unfit for fishing or consumption beginning further up the mountains down to the reservoir.
Alamosa Campground Info
* Elevation: 8600 ft
* Fee per Night: Free!
* Total Campsites: 5
* Reservations Not Accepted
* Pack out all trash
* Water may not be available. The handle for the water pump was removed at the time of our stay.
* Vault toilet was clean but had no toilet paper
* 30 ft Max RV Length
* Cell Service: AT&T - No / Verizon - No
* 14 Day Stay Limit
* Open Year Round (Weather Permitting)
* 4 wheeling on Elwood Pass
* Terrace Reservoir State Wildlife Area
GPS: 37.379647, -106.34373
Directions: From Monte Vista, take Hwy 15 south to Forest Road 250. Turn west and go about 12 miles to the campground.
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Colorado Vacation Cabin - VRBO #283072
Colorado cabin vacation rental near Buena Vista, bordering San Isabel National Forest.
Arkansas River in Texas Creek, Colorado
Just showing you the scenery at the bridge.
Baca County Parade Clip 2009
Baca County Parade 2009, Springfield Colorado
Salida, CO Dirtbiking
Four Mile OHV Buena Vista to Salida. 190 miles in 2 days. We met up with another rider (Karen) Sunday - good times! Of course the GoPro battery died for our epic technical decent into Salida on Trail 173 Sunday doh! Salida locals appeared scared and confused when we rolled into town on knobby-tired motorbikes dirty and covered in armor seeking food and drinks. Amazing weekend!