Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jul 1 – Tincup Loop Road

Happy Canada Day!

Today we did a loop up into the mountains, first to Taylor Reservoir, then to the tiny village of Tincup and finally up and over 12,000 foot Cumberland Pass.

We headed a short way east to the town of Gunnison. We stopped at the visitor’s center to see what was happening for the 4th of July weekend.

Heading north from there until the town of Almont it is wide open cattle country.

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Northeast from Almont we followed the Taylor River Valley.

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We drove by one house that had mountain goats grazing in the front yard.

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The valley started to get narrow.

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Our first bad sign was the cow dung on the road.

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There were at least a hundred cows just wandering down the highway. You had to just pick a lane with the least cows in it at any point. If both lanes were blocked you just moved up until they saw you and they would slowly get out of the way.

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They were strung out over about a mile of highway and seemed to know enough to stay off the road whenever it was not so narrow that it was their only choice.

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The Taylor River is shallow and fast flowing. There were fly fishermen everywhere.

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We stopped to look at the earth dam holding back the Taylor Reservoir.

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And then up to a viewpoint.

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Looking down on the marina.

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We decided to go down to one of the beaches and have lunch.

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There were a lot of bugs so we ate in the car but still enjoyed the view.

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From here we headed down a well kept and wide dirt road towards Tincup.

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This is part of Gunnison National Forest. Everywhere that we saw a road split off we were almost guaranteed to see someone camping.

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The little restaurant was busy.

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From Tincup we took a 3 mile side trip up to Mirror Lake. The road could be driven by any car but it was very rocky and some of them looked sharp. As always, I just crept up in first gear to save the tires.

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I could not believe that these people had taken this large fifth wheel up here.

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Then farther up I saw a Class A not much smaller than ours.

Eventually we got to the lake. Not a mirror but certainly a nice setting.

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Back in Tincup we had seen a small BBQ place. A pulled pork sandwich made a nice early afternoon snack.

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Tincup is at around 10,000 elevation. We continued up a valley for a while.

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Then we really started to climb. This part of the road had the same sharp rocks so it was back to slow and steady. At one point the GPS wanted us to take this “shortcut”.

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We climbed pretty fast. You can see the part of the road we had been on, way down in the lower left.

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We came via the upper slash in the mountain in the picture below. The lower slash was very narrow and ATV’s only.

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Finally at the top.

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It was just us and all the ATV’s.

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A huge wide parking area. This place must get popular. It has a great view.

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The hillside in front of Jennie was covered in wild flowers. She went down to explore.

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After a while everyone else left.

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And then we had the place to ourselves for quite a while.

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Jennie was down there a long time.

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There was an small trail that went a bit higher. I was tempted but it too looked like it was for ATVs only.

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Eventually we headed down the far side.

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Some more mine ruins.

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Once we got down to the town of Pitkin, it was pavement to finish the loop back home.

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1 comment:

  1. Love that lake and that view from the top!! Awesome!!!

    ReplyDelete