Into the Abajos

With the Pack Creek fire occurring, mere days after I hiked the same mountains now on fire, Joan and I wanted to escape the heat, fires, and smoke and go to another favorite set of mountains – The Abajos.

Locally called “The Blues,” these mountains about an hour south of us provide respite from the even occuring in our backyard.

June 10, 2021. The passes I hiked to now getting evacuated, and other roads closed.

Though not as tall or striking as the La Sals, Joan and I find these mountains inspiring in their unique way. The mountains provide a grand view of such well-known parts of the Colorado Plateau as The Needles of Canyonlands National Park, Bears Ears, Ship Rock, and many other places.

You can see the plume of the Pack Creek Fire in the distance.

Joan with Bears Ears behind her.

And, just as importantly, the Abajos provide a green oasis above the desert floor.

Though still hovering around 80F, even around 11k feet per NOAA. The breeze provided a welcome cooling effect. And much better than the 105+ F temps back home!

By following some ghost trails, long since gone on the ground if still on a map, we ended up along a creek and a long green tunnel.

PCO Joan. This “trail” joined at a service road. The old sign at the of the trail stated that the path is graded for horses!

We found the weekend better for day hiking and camping vs. backpacking because of the trail options in this area. But some cold drinks, a relaxing camp, and a fine view from camp make for an equally fine weekend.

Alas, we found something else in our dispersed site—something else best left in the past.

Once we doused the fire completely out, the mountains continued to provide a respite from the heat and smoke we left behind.

As I type, the fire’s now 30% contained. And if the mountains near my home became changed, it could be worse. I hope in the fall to again be in the La Sals and see my “backyard.”   In the meantime, the Abjos continue to fill our need for a mountain experience.

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Rachel N
Rachel N
3 months ago

The Abajos are beautiful, the fire in the pit not so much!