Welcome to the Colorado backcountry

The vast acreage of wilderness and backcountry beauty in Colorado make it one of the more popular locations for camping, backpacking, and day-hiking.

In addition to a eight National Parks and Monuments, Colorado boasts an equal number of Wilderness Areas, millions of acres of National Forest and BLM land, and over three dozen state parks.

From mountains to deserts, and grasslands to canyons, one could spend a lifetime hiking the trails of Colorado and not cover all of them.

The Crested Butte to Aspen Traverse

One popular hike (I hate popular hikes, and prefer to seek solitude in the backcountry, but my buddy loves things that are popular) is the traverse between Crested Butte and Aspen (or vice versa).  It actually goes from Schofield Pass to Maroon Lake, and much of it is part of the popular (there's that word again) Four Pass Loop.

The scenery and views are one major reason this hike is favored by so many.

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Looking northwest from West Maroon Pass

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Looking east from West Maroon Pass

Scarp Ridge

Though I moved from Colorado a couple of years ago, I return there every summer to visit friends and explore the wilderness.  Last month I did some hikes in the Crested Butte area that were all new to me, even though I lived not from from there (with only the Raggeds Wilderness separating us).

On my first day back, my buddy chose as an acclimation hike the trail from Lake Irwin to Scarp Ridge and a "peak" (it shows up on few maps, so maybe it's more of a point than a peak) called Oh Be Joyful at 12,400 feet above sea level.

From this point, hikers are rewarded with 360-degree views, which were partially marred by smoke from the west's many wildfires when we were there.  Still, I got some photos worth sharing:

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looking east from Scarp Ridge

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looking north from Oh Be Joyful

winter river valley snowshoeing

I'm sorry for not having posted in a long while.  It's not because I've avoided the outdoors, nor did I leave my camera at home, but forgot I should be sharing photos and stories with you.

Most weekends from November through January, when I wasn't shoveling I was snowshoeing.  I kept the trail packed up until the big snowfall that so far has been the last big snowfall.