Rail Days 2014 travel blog

Chimney Rock National Monument

Treasure Falls

Feel the mist

Animas Valley

Mountain stream

Cool mountain roads

Wild rose

Almost done with mountains

Alamosa, CO On our own again, our first order of business was to check out the Chimney Rock National Monument in the San Juan National Forest. Unfortunately it is an archeological site so any exploration there was by 2 ½ hour guided tour only. There are 4 tours per day on a challenging unimproved trail that is rough, steep, and rocky on a narrow causeway with cliffs on both sides. It is a 200-foot elevation gain to 7,600 ft and no shade on the two-thirds mile round trip trail. Sounds like our kind of hike but our timing was bad and we did not have enough time. We continued down the road to Treasure Falls. This sight demonstrates poor planning by the road builders. If they had done it properly we could have driven up, taken pictures from the car, and been done. Instead we hiked up steep switchbacks to the viewing platform where we got so close that we could feel the mist. In fairness, one must admit the mist was refreshing. Downhill was a much faster trip. We continued driving through the mountains, stopping at two other overlooks before getting down to arid ranch country. No more mountains for the rest of the trip.

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