Our Drive to Marshall Pass on the Continental Divide; Photos from Salida, CO to Sargents, CO
Hanging out on the backbone of North America ... August 24, 2012 - My friend Thomas Lunt of Castle Rock (right) came into town yesterday with
plans to join me in a hike of Mount Harvard, a 14er in the Sawatch Range this morning. However, with the weather unusually rainy and cold, we postponed
on our hiking plans. Instead, we visited two lesser-known passes on the Continental Divide:
Marshall Pass and North Cochetopa Pass. At least we got outside for awhile and enjoyed the mountains.
Above: When you're over 10,000 feet in elevation, everything is all right.
Our adventure began at the Forest Service office in Salida. Thomas inquired about some of the trails in the region and
outside, I got a photo of him beside his Suzuki. Thomas is one tough, crazy and motivated explorer of the mountains.
He's been hiking Colorado 14ers nearly every weekend this year.
He has also driven that vehicle to Tincup Pass and Mirror Lake. Not bad!
Notice his Minnesota license plate, Minnesota Vikings spare tire cover, Minnesota Twins jacket and Minnesota Wild hat.
This man is all-Minnesota, but only one of us has reached Eagle Mountain, the Minnesota High Point. Take a guess who. That would be me! :)
Traveling west on U.S. Highway 50 into Poncha Springs, the sky remained gray with drizzling rain.
We drove toward Poncha Pass and made the turn toward O'Haver Lake and Marshall Pass in southern Chaffee County.
For the most part, Marshall Pass Road isn't too bad. There are a few rough spots, but a 2WD passenger vehicle can make it just fine if you take your time. Once above O'Haver Lake, you are traveling on an old railroad grade.
At one point, we stopped to photograph our view of O'Haver Lake.
We saw this big fellow on the road ...
... and then a short distance ahead, we saw the entire group of livestock. Love it!
The views of Mount Ouray are excellent from Marshall Pass Road. Regretfully, the gray sky didn't help my photography, but adjacent are two photos.
The most common hiking route to Mount Ouray's summit is via the Marshall Pass Trailhead. It is
located about 0.2 miles east of Marshall Pass.
We passed so many pretty aspen groves. I'm telling you ... if you're interested in
viewing fall foliage, Marshall Pass (on both of its sides) has a
plethora of healthy aspens.
It was so cloudy at the pass that
it was pointless to attempt to take pictures of the scenery. I think this means you ought to go,
so you can enjoy the views yourself on a sunnier day. :)