Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Best 4WD Trip EVER!

While we were parked at Durango, Max led us on a terrific 4WD trip. It started from Silverton. The aspen leaves are turning yellow quickly - we noticed a big difference from when we were there on the train just a few days ago.

That's Silverton down in the valley.

As we started up towards our first pass, we saw many old mines. This one was in a beautiful setting, and there was a campground right across the street.

We saw lots of waterfalls. Probably not as much water as usual because Colorado is having a drought this summer.

An old dam.

We soon arrived in the ghost town of Animas Forks. Founded in 1880, it was a ghost town by the 1920s when the mine closed.

This house must have belonged to the owner. You can still wander through it, just be careful of the holes in the floor.

It amazes me that these buildings are still standing.

Further down the road, we came upon the Frisco Mill/Mine.

It appeared to be in a restoration/preservation phase. All the boards inside were numbered.

Climbing towards California Pass, the colors were just beautiful.

Up, up we go!

The view from the top of California Pass of Lake Como.

Just after our next pass, Hurricane Pass, we came upon a sheep dog. He probably had a couple thousand charges - all those dots on the hill behind him.

We had been warned in Silverton not to approach sheep dogs, but this one was friendly, and let us take lots of pictures.

I felt like I was in another world!

We then went down through the Red Mountain district.

The mountains are really red!

There are lots of mines in this area too. My favorite was the Yankee Girl Mine. Unlike most of the mines here, this was a vertical shaft mine.

Wow! What a trip! Thanks again, Max!


  1. What an experience! Great photos as usual.

  2. A great trip and fantastic views. I wonder if the dogs stay with the sheep all the time?

  3. I love looking at old towns and houses, mines, etc. Those are some really great photos and I have to add this place to my list of places to go.

  4. Very beautiful.

    Yes, the dog stays with the sheep all the time and will fearcely attack any predator, including another dog. He decided the humans were harmless and so was friendly. When the shepherd needs to move the sheep, he'll bring drover herders like border collies and confine the guard dog or the guarder will think the border is going to harm the sheep and kill it.

  5. I'm halfway happy that so few know about the beauty of the country you traveled. It's an amazing experience, and you will never forget it as we never forgot.

    Great pictures.

  6. Awesome! HOW fun to see that dog at work...do they come by to feed him?

  7. Great time of the year for that trip. The Aspens set off the scenery so nicely. Interesting about the dog. Is that a natural instinct or is the dog trained?

  8. Love those red mountains and Como Lake is really sweet. Was thinking you'd find some rusty stuff around these old mine sites.

  9. We just barely got into this area when we were at Ouray. We must go back and spend more time there. And, yes, Red Mountain really is red :-)

  10. Gorgeous! Gotta add that to the list for when we go back to the area.

  11. Silverton area has some awesome 4 wheelin spots. We have been to some of the same spot, but looks like we need to go back. That is one of the most breathtaking place we gave been too. Glad you enjoyed it!!

  12. Your in my hood .. well sort of I am north of Ridgeway but did you do the drive between Red Mountain Pass & Ouray? .. The colors are absolutely fab up by the turn off at Ironton for the Cork screw Rd.

  13. What a great drive -- such spectacular scenery ... I especially like the colors climbing up to California Pass.

  14. Tesaje - Thank you so much for the information. You answered the questions we were wondering about.

    Sondra - I suspect that's the reason the dog was so friendly. It was probably getting close to dinner time and he thought we were the chuck wagon.

    Robin - Next post!


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