|Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
25th Anniversary Event
Aspen Ridge Trip
|September 19, 2010|
By Don Lamprecht
|While we were all saying goodbye Sunday morning the Harmons and Lamprechts started generating some interest in one more quick trip before heading back home. We had both driven Aspen Ridge recently and knew the aspens would be spectacular. Plus the ridge was clearly visible from US 285 between Salida and Buena Vista, so it was a no-brainer. Those joining that last minute trip were Mike and Caroline, Roger and Linda, Mike and Laura, Patrick and Patricia and their twins, Rich and Cathy, Aaron and Jordan, and John and Kathy. Don and Karen led the trip and Richard and Karla served as tail gunners.
We decided to take the trip from south to north so that we could dump back onto US 285 for the trip home. Turns out a trip from north to south would have afforded better views since the aspens would be backlit by the sun. Our entry point was in north Salida onto Ute Trail.
We aired down at a convenient loop pullout just before the road became rough. We turned off of Ute Trail onto CR 185. Shortly we drove by an old marble quarry that was full of water. There was no place to pull off for pictures. Just north of the quarry was a turnoff to the west that goes to the ghost town of Turrent. Since we did not know of the road quality and most wanted to get home early, we skipped this opportunity.
We slowly climbed to a pass at an elevation of approximately 10,300 ft. From that point downhill were the best aspens. We selected one of the several aspen groves with a long straight road to pull over for a picture opportunity.
Further down the road there was a very large open space where we pulled out. This was the view looking back towards Aspen Ridge. You can see what the backlighting of the sun did to the colors. The ridge has two summits. The rightmost summit is where Park, Fremont and Chaffee counties intersect.
The view west is probably the main view from this point in months when the aspens are not changing. From left to right were Mount Shavano (14229 ft), Mount Antero (14269 ft) and Mount Princeton (14197 ft). At the next meeting or club outing be sure to ask the Bakers about their hike to the summit of Princeton. Be sure to bring a lunch!
There's something special about a yellow Jeep with aspens in the background.
One last shot of aspens as we approached the exit onto CR 307. After airing down some of the group headed home and others headed back to Buena Vista. The consensus of the group was that we were glad we took just one more trip.