Arches National Park, UT

Turtle Rock - Fourmile Road- Unnamed Point 9,620 Feet

Photos and Video of The Fourmile Region Northeast of Buena Vista, Colorado - March 8, 2009

Buffalo Peaks, CO Rock Face The Fourmile area located northeast of Buena Vista, Colorado doesn't get a lot of respect. Like much of the hilly and mountainous region east of the Arkansas River from Buena Vista all the way down to Salida, these peaks don't compete with the massive mountains in the Sawatch Range, west of the valley. Yet during the winter months, when snow is too much of an obstacle in the Sawatch Range, outdoor adverturers tend to gravitate to places like Fourmile.

On this beautiful and sunny Sunday afternoon, I hiked to an unnamed summit (alt. ~9,620 feet) near the winter gate of Fourmile Road. I also include photos of Turtle Rock and mountain scenery along Chaffee County Road 375 (known as Fourmile Road). I think I came up with some scenic photos!

-Steve

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Turtle Rock

Turtle Rock

Turtle Rock

First of all, how to get to this area: From the Buena Vista traffic light, travel east on Main Street. Make a right (north) on Colorado Street. Take that road approximately three miles, where it becomes a dirt road. Fourmile Road (Chaffee County Road 375) is a right turn just before one reaches Turtle Rock and the Midland Tunnels (top photo).

BOTTOM: So does Turtle Rock look like a turtle? (A photo from Fourmile Road.)

Turtle Rock Another photo from Fourmile Road. A campground exists near the base of the rock on its east side. My knowledge is limited, but I'm 98% sure Turtle Rock can only be summited with the use of ropes and all that - real rock climbing! :)
Turtle Rock One more view of Turtle Rock as I was coming back down Fourmile Road after my hike.

Scenery Along Fourmile Road

Fourmile Road is a scenic drive, a reasonably well-graded dirt road that can be accessed in a passenger vehicle like mine.

I threw in one photo of the historic Midland Tunnels. Long ago, the Midland Railroad ran through those tunnels en route to Leadville.

Midland Tunnels

Chaffee County Road 375

Plenty of rock outcroppings and formations along the drive. Fourmile Road
A nice mountain view. Marmot Peak (alt. 11,735 feet) is the large mountain left of center. Fourmile Road
Traveling upward, the Buffalo Peaks (alt. 13,326 feet) comes into better view. Fourmile Road
Just past the entrance to the Fourmile Ranch (a private homestead) is a closed gate during the winter months. I parked in front of the Fourmile Ranch entrance and continued upward by foot. Looking at my topographical map, today's goal was to hike to an unnamed point (alt. 9,620 feet) approximately 0.4 miles NWW of the closing gate. Four Mile Ranch, CO
One last view of Fourmile Road and some mountains out there. My back was against the gate when I snapped this photo. Midland Hill is the bumpy, green-covered peak in the immediate foreground. Also, way out there right of center is the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range. Fourmile Road

The Hike

The hike begins. It was a little boring at first. In fact, I wondered if this was going to be a waste of time as I walked up this modest hill.

The ascent is minimal - probably only about 300 to 500 feet at most from the gate.

TOP PHOTO: The unnamed point comes into view on the right.

BOTTOM PHOTO: A trail travels north-south. Looks like its used for mountain biking, although there are spots where there are ruts from 4-wheel drive vehicles.

I followed the trail to those rocks!

At the base of the rocks. From this vantage point, I could not tell where the highest point was among these rocks. I tried to scramble up some of these crevaces with trees, but came back down.
I walked on the west side of the rocks. Look at the top photo: Doesn't that look like a person's face? I scrambled up, then had this view (right photo) of a very steep rock slope.

I continued to scramble around and walked around this spot...

Then on the east side, it was a short ascent to the top.

Buffalo Peaks, CO
The Summit - Unnamed Point (9,620 Feet)

So beautiful. It's a shame this point doesn't have a name!

Fourmile Area

Fourmile Area

TOP: The Fourmile Region.

BOTTOM: The view to the South.

Mt. Princeton, CO Ahhhhh ... Mt. Princeton! This is the view to the southwest.

The town of Buena Vista, CO sits in the valley toward the left. Homes outside of town can be clearly seen.

Colorado Mountains

Colorado Mountains

The lighting was horrible facing west thanks to the sun's position in the afternoon.

TOP: Mt. Yale and Mt. Columbia.

MIDDLE: Facing northwest. Mt. Elbert, Colorado's High Point, is the snow-capped mountain farthest to the right.

BOTTOM: The view to the north. Oh and yes, it really was a steep cliff to the west and northwest. Be careful if you visit!

Buffalo Peaks, CO One self-photo. It was great to be up there! :)

Video - Colorado Scenery... AND WIND!
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