On Friday morning, I headed towards the San Juan National Forest. I had to stop for propane and gas, and then picked up a few things at Walmart.
I stopped in the town of Dolores for a couple of hours, walking around the town and checking out some of the shops.
If you are ever passing through this way, you should stop at the Dolores Grocery Store. It has a great selection of organic, local produce and other organic and gluten free foods. They have a refrigerator case full of freshly prepared foods and I picked up some items for lunch. I plan on going back on Sunday morning, on my way back to Mesa Verde, to do my weekly grocery shopping.
Bear Creek Trail (FST 607) Starting elevation 7,960 Ending elevation 11,200
Trail length one-way: 12.5 miles Difficulty: moderate
From Dolores on Highway 145, travel east for 22 miles. The trailhead is clearly marked on the highway and begins approximately 1/4 miles east (upstream) from the confluence of Bear Creek and the Dolores River. The trail traverses the entire length of Bear Creek, all the way to the headwaters where it intersects the Sharkstooth Trail.
I was not going to walk the entire trail. It was almost 3pm by the time I reached the trailhead. I decided to hike for about an hour before going on to the campground for the night. I only walked 1.6 miles in that hour. The beginning of the trail is very steep with many switchbacks and I was stopping to take a lot of pictures (110).
The beginning of the hike is mostly Aspen Trees, beautiful - even though the leaves had not turned yellow yet.
I am hoping to do a longer hike on Saturday.