After a four year absence, the summer monsoon pattern finally returned to Southwest Colorado. The wildflowers and mushrooms responded enthusiastically to the daily rains and were out in force.
We were excited to get into the high country for some peak ascents and high basin loops. Popular sentiment was “one the best wildflower blooms ever!”
Towards the end of August we went to a nearby favorite spot for a couple nights of van camping, peak climbing, and mushroom gathering. We came across enough chanterelles on our first day of hiking that we had to return to the van to unload. We gathered 35 lbs + in two hours.
We spent the rest of the day cleaning mushrooms instead of hiking. But, we had enough supplies to spend another night and do our intended route the next day. We promised ourselves we would not gather any more chanterelles, no matter what. On the way down from the peak, we added another 10 lbs or more… it’s a complulsion! We returned to Telluride with over 46 lbs of prime chanterelle mushrooms. We gave a lot to friends and neighbors and ate our fill each night for two solid weeks.
Another great excursion was climbing a high 13’er in a more remote part of the range. A friend had recently done the trip and he inspired us to give it a go.
We started from Lizard Head pass, backpacked in for about 6.5 hours and set up camp next to a small lake at the base of the peak at about 11,500′. The next morning we enjoyed a fun climb up a beautiful alpine basin with granite slabs onto the summit at 13,762′. We got back down to camp in the early afternoon and took a refreshing dip in the lake. It started raining mid afternoon but we stayed nice and cozy in the tent thru the night. The next morning we retraced our route back to our vehicle at Lizard Head Pass. Super fun! Some photos from the trip are below.