Saguache Park, 2015
Jun 22, 2015Limited, anyone with the link
Photo: Between Villa Grove and Saguache there was a "band" around the San Luis Valley of these yellow flowers.
Photo: There were acres and acres of them.
Photo: But the main flower in bloom in huge quantites were the wild irises.  All across South Park and then everywhere we went.  These are on the approach to Cochetopa Pass.
Photo: We camped on a logging spur off the top of the pass--about a mile of Syncro road.  In the morning we climbed a knob on the ridge to see if there was a view.  Going up, I saw this pile where a squirrel or squirrel family has gone through many cones for a long time.
Photo: Sure enough, there was a view at the top.  This is looking S to Mesa Mtn.  See my Fremont Camps reports from '06 and '08.  Fremont's path was just on the other side of Mesa Mtn.
Photo: Looking W across Cochetopa Park.  The snow is on top of Cannibal Plateau, but at the L, Uncompahgre Pk (14,309') is showing, about 50 miles away.  This whole area is the La Garita caldera.  25 million years ago it blew up and expelled 3,000 cubic MILES of ash, scoria, lava, etc.  On the volcanic activity scale of 1-8 it is rated 9.2!
Photo: Marty admires the view.  This is to the SW with San Luis Pk in the distance.
Photo: Here is the Cochetopa Pass road winding down into Cochetopa Park.  The Colorado Trail crosses at the switchback.
Photo: Getting down into Cochetopa Park.  View of Stewart Pk and San Luis Pk get better.
Photo: Here is Cochetopa Park.  Just above the post (a little L) is
San Luis Pk--behind the others so it looks smaller.  It is the most remote 14er in Colorado.
Photo: We drove S in Cochetopa Park, crossing the Colorado Trail and then over a slight divide into Saguache Park.  That slight divide is the Continental Divide which is usually more dramatic in Colorado.  Marco is enjoying our lunch stop.  The La Garita Mtns are in the back, with Table Mtn (R) and Sheep Mtn (L) in the middle distance.  We are headed to the other side of Sheep Mtn.
Photo: This is Saguache Park--about 10 mi X 10 mi, with only a single summer road into it--an unknown hole in Colorado!
Photo: Check the scale--how small Carl's Syncro looks now.
Photo: OK, now find it--it's there.
Photo: And there, too.  This place is huge.
Photo: Cows grazing on the skyline.
Photo: Just before dropping down to cross Saguache Creek, we stop at grave.  Pvt Jacob Sadler, US Army, 1881.  There must be a story here.
Photo: With some more recent remains--
Alley family.  There must be a story here.
Photo: Behind is the confluence of the N fork of Saguache Creek with the Middle Fork.  There is a forest service facility there and a camp ground.  An old topo map identifies it as a "guard station" but now I think the ranchers who have grazing permits use it.
Photo: At the S end of the road, against the La Garita Mtns, we find a little track and a nice secluded camp spot.
Photo: Marco had one of his best days crashing everywhere in the forest and the park.
Photo: Slow sunset--only a couple of days before the longest day of the year.
Photo: Sunset sky over Sheep Mtn to the W