I visited Lake City for the first time back in July (Just realized I still need to post a blog on that trip, also!). It had been on my bucket list for quite some time and I was super excited to get the chance to head up there with my dad and his wife and my dogs. We only stayed for a night because we ended up with food poisoning and our plans to summit a 14er were squashed, but we were still able to camp in the American Basin and enjoy a beautiful couple of days in Colorado.
After returning home from Lake City I couldn’t wait to get back. I knew a bunch of other friends were eager to explore the area as well so we planned a huge camping trip to the SJ’s (San Juans – aka- the San Juan Mountain Range) over Labor Day weekend.
It started on a Friday… we drove 5.5 hours into the Colorado mountains, set up camp with a bunch of friends and spent a few nights just enjoying Colorado, nature, the mountains, the campfire, friendship, hiking…. It was an incredible weekend.
On Friday Dave & I met up on the road out of Lake City and drove way back towards Cinnamon Pass on a dirt road to find a spot for our big group. We ended up camping a 1/2 mile past the Redcloud & Sunshine trail head in an awesome area that easily fit our big group. Four wheel drive was not needed to get back where we camped. Friday night we just hung around the camp fire.
Sometimes the road was a tad sketch 🙂
Our “Tent City” we set up. We did have a few periods of rain showers but luckily they were just passing showers & did not last long! Thanks to Walmart for the $40 canopy! … Though you can hardly see it in this picture because we added an additional tarp and connected it to Jim’s Jeep. We are so resourceful.
The view outside my tent
My tent & Dave’s in the back
The dogs. Zainey and her buds Bella & Amos
Saturday morning we set off and hiked Handies Peak (my 18th 14er). It was COLD, cloudy and we barely missed the rain! The American Basin was not as pretty in early September as it was in July but it was still an incredible site. Handies was also a really interesting hike – the views were incredible! And I really do mean incredible.
Here you can see a large portion of the trail. Very interesting terrain during this stretch.
This beautiful alpine lake is passed on the way up the the summit.
Once on the ridge you’re treated to these views. Arguably the most beautiful 14er I’ve done.
Some of the hiking crew! Also, my first 14er with miss Amy, one of my favorites!
All of us together! ❤ (Except JD & Amos, but they summited the next day!)
Dave brought the GoPro & it really does take neat pictures! Here we are on the summit.
And me on Handies! #18/58
The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, sitting around the campfire, eating, talking & hiking around Grizzly Gulch (an alternate route up Handies for those who choose not to drive up the American Basin & start from there). Grizzly Gulch is arguably as pretty if not prettier than the American Basin. I am so glad we got to experience both routes up Handies.
Solid weekend in the books. And I had never been more thankful for like minded people to explore our beautiful home with.