Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stanley Mountain

I joined the Denver Trail Heads again on Wednesday for what was advertised as a Stanley Gulch hike. Surprisingly, I couldn't find any other details online about this hike. All I knew was that it was a little past Empire and involved wildflowers, which was good enough for me.

The trail rose quickly, and after just a couple of miles we had great views to the east ...

... and south, including the striking Red Mountain.

The wildflowers weren't as abundant as I'd seen recently at Shelf Lake or Lake Isabelle, but still provided some nice bursts of color in spots -- especially along streams.

The planned destination was a wildflower meadow just past this stream.  But six of us decided to take the trail up and see what we could see.  Didn't realize at the time that it would be a summit!

Ginny totally photobombed this shot of an unnamed peak to the northwest of Stanley Mountain.  Otherwise, she was really well-behaved and got a ton of compliments from the other hikers.

The trail led to the summit of Stanley Mountain, which in true Colorado fashion was obscured behind two false summits.  This odd stick and pile of rocks were at the top, and buzzing with flies.  No USGS stamp was visible either, which I'm guessing may have been buried under the rock pile.

We didn't take a ton of pictures at the top, as the group had agreed to reconvene at the stream pictured earlier at a set time.  It took me about 45 minutes to get up here from the stream, but I booked it back down in about 20 minutes so as not to keep anyone waiting.  There really wasn't any need -- our group leader Becky had sent the others back already and stayed for us stragglers herself. :)

Spent about three and a half hours on the trail in all.  The summit of Stanley Mountain is roughly 2,100 feet above the trailhead, and I'd estimate the round-trip distance at about seven miles.

A pretty enjoyable hike, and well organized as always by the Trail Heads.  The biggest bummer was the hum of machinery from the nearby Henderson Mine, which was audible most of the way.  But otherwise, a solid way to spend a Wednesday!

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