Colorado Wildflower Expedition 2018, Part 2 - San Juan Mountains

The Wildflower Expedition next lead me down toward Lake City and the San Juan Mountains. I’m fairly familiar with the San Juan Mountains, but rarely ever entered from Lake City. Lake City is on the eastern side of the San Juans south of the Gunnison National Forest.

My first stop was American Basin. I thought about camping in the area for the evening, but it was quite rainy and so only spend about 30 minutes at American Basin and only captured an iPhone image thinking I would return later in my trip (that never happened).

I headed toward higher ground along the Alpine Loop in search for a camping spot. I had always wanted to find camp up in the tundra so headed up toward Cinnamon Pass for the evening and found a spot with a great view of Cinnamon Mountain and the valley below. While the view was amazing, the evening took a turn for the worse and I spent a cold night above 12,000 Feet in the blowing cold. The REI Basecamp tent kept me warm and dry and woke up to a cold, but wonderful sunrise.

After a good breakfast and some hot coffee I packed up camp and headed out along the Alpine Loop and found Placer Gulch. I’d never heard of it before, but it was filled with a blanket of amazing wildflowers. The day along the Alpine Loop in hopes of getting away from the crowds was not a success. It turns out the Toyota Land Cruisers were in the area for their 100s in the Hills event and so the back country was filled with 100 Series Land Cruisers. I cut my trip short and headed home away from the crowds.

I’m excited that was able to capture some wildflowers this year. i’m not sure it was a great outing but I’m happy I did it. I know what to expect and plan for next year and for future wildflower excursions.