San Juan Solstice 3.0

Our usual approach is to head out to Colorado on a Thursday, race on Saturday and then play for the rest of the week (as long as our legs can handle it).

This year we headed to Lake City by going through Colorado Springs.  We had grand plans of checking out the Manitou Incline but traffic was a mess, so we headed to the Garden of the Gods for some sight seeing and a few short hikes and then headed out of town.

The SJS50 is held on the closest Saturday after the solstice.  This year it was on 6/23/18.  If you want big climbs and a lot of time on the continental divide, this is the race for you.  The race is great and we will be back again for a 4th.

6/24/18 – after the awards ceremony we headed out to Telluride.  It’s a 3 hour drive that took us past the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Montrose and Ridgeway.  The drive in to Telluride tells you that you are in for an amazing time.  We opted to stay in the Mountain Village and it was a great decision.  With the free Gondola in to town we were able to do everything we wanted with little effort while staying at 9600ft.

6/25/18 – We wanted to attempt a 14er and this one was close to Telluride and had a few options depending on how the legs felt Wilson Peak.  The drive it was nice and we were only 1 of 5 cars in the lot.  There was about 3000ft of climbing and 4 miles to get to the saddle of Wilson Peak.  We didn’t have the directions to get from the saddle to the peak and couldn’t find a route that we were comfortable with, so we stopped here.  There was definitely some sketchy rock scrambling along the saddle and the rest of the way up to the peak.  It was more than we wanted.

6/26/18 – We wanted to do something around Telluride and this seemed like the best option.  The Sneffles Highline Trail Loop ended up being one of the best trail loops we’ve been on.  We didn’t follow directions due to a little confusion and ended up doing the loop Clockwise.  That didn’t take anything away from the experience and due to leg fatigue I think taking the longer climbing side of the loop was the way to go.  This loop had it all; started from town, went through plenty of Aspens, climbed to some great overlooks and took you through some alpine forest and to a waterfall.

6/27/18 – See Forever Trail – We were hoping to get on to some of the Hardrock 100 course but due to Elk Calving and a couple trail closures we just did this out and back from one of the Gondola stops.  

6/28/18 – Grays and Torrey Peak – we were looking for something to do on our way from Telluride to Boulder.  This hike was just off the interstate.  Once off the interstate you get on a 4×4 road.  We had a 4runner that made easy work of the road but they advised parking before things got sketchy if you didn’t have an off road vehicle (we’ve had flat tires before, so we try to get big wheels and clearance – although there were some cars at the trailhead).  This was a nice relatively easy 8.5 miles and two 14er route; great views and great weather helped.  

6/29/18 – Chatauqua Park – this popular Boulder Park is hard to beat.  It has a little bit of everything if you don’t mind climbing to get to it.

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