Sunday, October 29, 2017
Sunday Drive - Crown Point Road (aka the 19 mile dead ender)

A blue sky Sunday afternoon. I had firm intent to stay home. But then I turned a corner...  140 miles later this route was drawn on a map.

I ended up riding deeper into the mountains - familiar roads for most until I came to a side-road I've passed by time and again. Today I took the turn.

Down in town weather was in the mid 60's (F) for a nice day. I was a tad surprised to find decent snow in the shadows. Windows were being rolled up with the heater turning on. I didn't have the GPS running but I knew I was climbing in elevation.

About 30 minutes into the dead end drive I started to guess how long the dead end road was to be. Pop out the phone's GPS map and I'm within a few miles of the end - trek on. At the end is a parking lot for the Zimmerman trailhead. Trails extend into the adjoining Comanche Peak Wilderness (no motorized vehicles).  The dark green areas on the below map are wilderness. In the lighter green we have road. Much of the road and trail are for logging operations.

This map states I'm about 10,646' for elevation - perhaps 20 degrees (F) cooler here than in town.

There were several sections of snow covered roadway. All was packed though a couple sections had enough snow to gently rub the underside of the car. It was slick with traffic near zero (I saw a couple hikers at the trailhead - they were camping in the cool weather, a few vehicles down the road for another trailhead - horse trailers). While speeds were low (20-30MPH) I certainly wanted to stay in the center and not get stuck.

Most of the 19 mile trek was in a pine tree canyon. About 3/4 of the way to the end I had a few glimpses of some snow covered mountains in the distance. They surprised me. Snow covered mountains in the area? Up north, we don't have overally tall mountains in the state. Now to find the best spot for a photo of'm...

Most of the road was a good condition surface with spots of packed snow in the shadows.

There's a bit more of an opening for a photo. Notice the low cut area of trees in the pine tree carpet - areas that were harvested and are starting to grow fresh.

Here we go! In a more open area I was able to walk uphill slightly which allowed me to get over many of the close, view blocking trees.

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How far are those moutains (11 miles west).  Checking the maps... Those are the Medicine Bow Mountains. Over the mountains is North Park and the town of Walden. The tallest peak near the left / south end is Clark Peak at 12,953' elevation. To the right are South Rawah and North Rawah peaks. A tad bit later we'll make another stop with a view to the northeast. At the below map, we're at marker "A".

Away from the Medicine Bow Mountains view area we're at a second stop ("C") with a view to the northeast. One light colored "block" of a building is visible "out there" on the plains. There's only one large structure in the area so I believe it's the Rawhide Power Generation plant.

34 miles east northeast

click for a larger size