July 11, 2016
At the top of our list of things to do while in this area was hiking to the summit of Mt. Crested Butte. I was thrilled to learn that we could take the Silver Queen lift to the entrance of the summit trail hike.
So now, I get to check two things off the bucket list...our first chair lift ride and the summit of Mt. Crested Butte.
|Scott and Chris, avid skiers in Park City, UT, showed us the way.|
The ride up and down was a hoot, but I didn't get many pictures. There was a definite chill in the wind on both rides.
If you choose not to take the lift, you can walk the first six miles on a service road to get to this point.
The 3.5 mile round trip hike was described as a family hike and yes, we did see several children who must have been mountain goats in an earlier life.
The trail is well marked and easy at first except for the steep climb.
Signs all along the way describing the wildflowers and wildlife made for convenient stops to breath deep and continue on.
After a steep climb we came to a fork in the trail...
we turned right toward the peak. A nice descent into a small valley was easy. We enjoyed watching marmots play.
The next sign pointed us in the right direction...
from here the scrambling...umm...I mean fun began !
From here the trail became a lot steeper and rockier. The rocks were stable for the most part, but deep crevices made it hard to find good footing.
The up wasn't so bad and coming down was mostly on my rump !
What an incredible view... truly a 360 degree panorama.
Mountain Dryad also known as alpine rose...
Moss Campion are anchored by a deep taproot. Each plant can live over 100 years...amazing!
Alpine Sunflowers are easy to recognize being the largest yellow flowers found in the alpine habitat. Stems are short with oversized flowers that always face the rising sun.
It's not easy to pick a favorite, but I have to say Sky Pilot sure caught my eye. The nectar robbing activity of ants can seriously diminish seed pollination so the plant has adapted by making its own stinky, sticky ant repellent. Bees will still pollinate, but ants keep their distance.
Until next time, happy days and...
HAPPY TRAILS !