Twenty-Four Hours in Vasquez Wilderness

Many of my friends have different constraints than myself.

A weekend away for backpacking is a luxury.

For busy family guys, a twenty-four backpack is a convenient way to get an outdoor fix without completely disrupting the family life. My friends graciously invited me along for the outing.

Josh, Mike, Dave, and I all met up a 2 PM this past weekend.  It was hot and dry in Boulder.

Within an hour or so, were higher up in the cool mountain air and enjoying being in the shadow of the Continental Divide.

Old school external frame pack with smart phone maps. Internal frame packs with a print map. 🙂

The plan was to go up Butler Gulch, get on the Continental Divide, hike Vasquez Peak and then follow the divide to a CDT spur trail back to our car.

Up the Butler Gulch trail that ends at an old mine. We hiked up the visible line to the ridge.

An excellent weekend with ideal weather and good friends.

We reached the divide with not a cloud in sight.  The russet ground cover hinting at a Fall soon to be on its way.

We continued along the divide and enjoyed the tundra ridge walk.

We continued to walk in the later afternoon sun. Our way was made to Jones Pass.

Photo of me taking photos. Naturally!  PCO Josh Zapin.

We soon hiked off the divide and to some small, unnamed lakes.

A flat site was found out of the wind and sheltered against some rocks.  The sunset viewed from the lake near our camp was outstanding.

A few adult libations were enjoyed as we talked into the cool evening.

The following morning we climbed, steeply, up to the divide.

Some ridge walking was again enjoyed.

Some superb views were seen deep into the Vasquez Wilderness below.

The summit of the not-quite-13000′ Vasquez Peak was reached. A mountain that is modest by Colorado standards; but its location and prominence make the views from the summit a worthy place to spend some weekend time.

Josh insisted on more photos of me when possible. 😉

Vasquez summit. PCO Josh Zapin.

We hooked up with the CDT proper and continued along.

We soon left the ridge behind and took an off-trail route that led to a spur trail, and then our waiting vehicle.

We reached the car, some clean clothes and sandals were changed into, and we had time enough to stop in Empire, CO for a quick lunch before other obligations had to be addressed back in town.

A fine trip. And a perfect way to spend twenty-four hours of backpacking.

All the photos

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Kristen Gautney
Kristen Gautney
6 years ago

Paul, I am so excited for you and your next lifetime adventure. I will be watching your blogs closely.

6 years ago

Awesome pics as always