Colorado is, and always will be..... one of my most favorite states in the US! Maybe its because its so close to home being from the four corners of New Mexico. Colorado was only a 30 min drive away, so exploring the mountains was something I would do often growing up and into adulthood. There is a source of solace I have found in the mountains that no other place on earth gives me.
I have challenged my way through hikes and climbs with inadequate gear and learned my lessons from doing so. I now come prepared with all things necessary to make my trek as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. I will be doing a "whats in my pack" blog post soon to share with you my essentials. Today I am going to share with you a little gem of a hike in the southwest Colorado region. The images will show more from the summit down view...
Engineer Mountain is a distinctive, high 12er rising to the southwest of the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado. The lower of two summits named "Engineer Mountain" in Colorado, the bulking mass of Engineer Mountain is visible from various points along US Hwy 550. This summit has nearly 1,500 of vertical prominence, with the visual prominence to match!
The mountain is easily accessible thanks to the proximity of US Hwy 550, but carries the tradition of rotten San Juan ruggedness well. The standard Northeast Ridge route catches the character of this peak well, complete with luxurious blankets of summer wildflowers, steep loose scree slopes and "souvenir handholds" that readily release from the mountain.
Engineer Mountain is just a few feet shy of being a 13er, it is a great option for a half-day outing in the summer, and thanks to the fact that Highway 550 is plowed in the winter, this peak provides a moderate-approach snow-season outing as well.
During the hike the primary things that stood out to me was the rock glacier, which is the last 1000 feet or so of the summit. We did this hike in the summer, so the wild flowers were absolutely breathtaking and a standout to this hike also!
Now these are some images as we started to summit, so you can expect this rock glacier about the last 1/6th of your hike. It was rocky of course as you can see, but there was still plenty of room as you bouldered to the top. Here are some images of the earlier parts of the hike, showing the amazing wild flowers and the enchanted feeling of the mountain and its surroundings.
I had been shopping for a new pair of hiking boots, but I know better than to buy a new pair and wear them. They need to be broken in better before you go on your first hike in them. I couldn't even truly summit because of these shitty shoes lol... (Well they are not shitty, since they are Nike ..but not for outdoor climbing and hiking)
The slide show above shows a few of our snap shot images along the trail, like I stated earlier its only a day hike so a light pack was necessary. As we got to this spot highlighted above we ate our PB & J sandwich, (AKA best trail food ever)!
I would not say this hike is to challenging and a great one to take people of different skill levels, some may not want to climb to the top of the rock glaciers, but the view from right below is just as gorgeous. One thing I always have on my hikes is my trusted and true Camelback water bladder for my pack. Most of these images were captures with the GoPro Hero 5 or just my iPhone.
One reason why Im such a huge fan of hiking in the summer in Colorado is because of the EPIC wildflowers... There is no place like these mountains in the summer, nature is so naturally such a beautiful creature
If you are ever in the southern Colorado area and are looking for a day hike, I highly recommend mount engineer for many skill levels. Great views, great climbs, great place to get images and hear the sounds of nature!
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