Date hiked: 11/23/16
Mileage: 12.2 miles to reach Blue Lakes Pass
Head Count (how many other hikers I saw): 0 groups (a much different story in the summer)
This winter, my plan is to hopefully revisit the majority of the trails I hiked this summer and capture a comparison of Colorado in the summertime vs. Colorado in the wintertime.
So here’s my first real snowshoe-worthy winter outing this year to the Blue Lakes Trail in Ouray. As I’m still trying to find my snowshoe legs, I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped before losing light, but only time with strengthen my stamina.
East Fork Dallas Creek.
Entering the Mt. Sneffels Wilderness.
Lower Blue Lake
The wind was really picking up at this point, and though it may not look like it here, the snowdrifts were starting to get shin-high on the mountainside and difficult to sludge through without much of a shoulder to work with. I was losing light and had to turn back, but Upper Blue Lake lies just over a quarter mile from this point, and Blue Lakes pass another mile.
Mount Sneffels from the road.
(From Ridgway): At the intersection of Highway 550 and Highway 62, head west on Highway 62 (Sherman Street) through the center of Ridgway. As of the writing of this, there are width restrictions due to 11′ lanes. Continue on Highway 62 for 4.8 miles, then turn left onto CR-7. After .8 miles, keep right to stay on CR-7. Take another slight right 1.3 miles beyond that, and the road comes to an end at the trailhead 6.8 miles further.
When I came up this time, the snow started at about 9,000 feet with maybe a couple inches the last mile and a half or so that weren’t difficult at all to push through. But it was still the tail-end of fall hiking. The winter closure is many miles from the trailhead.
13.7 miles; 33 min