We headed south today with our destination being Lake City, CO. Instead of taking 1.5 hours, we didn’t see Lake City for nearly 4 hours. That was because we saw this little road heading uphill and decided to go just a little way up it. It was called Blue Creek Rd. We got into some of our best fall colour yet and had to keep going until we ran out of deciduous and into all evergreens up at Soldier Pass which was at the 6 mile marker. The road was very narrow with only a few wide spots for two vehicles to pass. It was in very good condition but steep at times. In our two hours or more, we only saw three other vehicles and they were all as we were on our way down.
We had our lunch along the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River then wandered into Lake City which seems to be an old mining town re-invented as a winter and summer recreation area. Many of the original buildings have been restored and several had plaques on them describing their history. There were at least two places renting Jeeps and ATVs and skiing seemed to be big in the winter. There were lots of hiking trails everywhere we went.
We decided to check out one of the roads leading from town which led us up to an old mining town built in 1876 called Capitol City. The weather started to deteriorate on us while we were up there and got worse as the afternoon progressed. Coming back down to Lake City, we continued on up to Slumgullion Pass which was at 11,530 feet. There were some fantastic views on the way up and it would be great on a clear morning. From the pass, we took forest service road 788 which was also one of those single lane gravel/dirt roads. The surface was a little slippery in places with the rain but it was rock underneath so as long as you didn’t drive too fast, there was no problem. We saw several deer. One was a big four point but he was a little shy to wait around for me to change lenses. We have seen a huge number of deer on our trip this year. I think this gravel road, which led us through the Powderhorn area, was actually quicker getting us home than if we’d returned to Lake City.
Here's a view of our Lakeside RV Park from across the reservoir
Along Highway 149
This and the following three images are on Blue Creek Rd
Highway 149 leading to Lake City
I think this is the old mining town of Henson. It is a few miles from Lake City on the road to Capitol City
The old town of Capitol City is in the center of this image
Pretty much all that is left of Capitol City, CO
Looking down the valley to Lake City from Capitol City
On the way up Slumgullion Pass there was this area which reminded me of Artist Point in Yellowstone
The view from 10,800 feet on the climb up to Slumgullion Pass. The high peak on the right is Uncompahgre which is 14,309 feet in elevation. Lake City is down in the valley this side of Uncompahgre Peak
Along Forest Road 788
Along Forest Road 788