La Plata

The Front Range has experienced an unusually warm June, so I attempted to beat the heat by searching for higher ground. As a day trip, La Plata is an easy class 2 climb accessible off of Highway 82, southwest of Leadville. The mountain was originally named for the silver mines that once operated in the area.

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Salem

Trading mountains for the ocean this Memorial Day weekend, I spent one morning on Winter Island in Salem, Massachusetts. The history of the island dates back to the 17th century and remained a fortification for several centuries to protect Salem Harbor. The Fort Pickering Light was built in in 1871, along with the Derby Wharf Light and the Hospital Point Light to aid mariners into the harbor.

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Palisade

Situated between the Rocky Mountains and Utah deserts, Palisade is a refreshing departure from traveling along I-70. After exiting the interstate, one sees the possibilities for tapping the Colorado River after passing an abundance of wineries and orchards. History surrounds the area with petroglyphs, discarded wagon trails, and farming implements that have earned a resting place along the fields they once cared for.

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Arapaho Lakes

The scenic views by Arapaho Lakes are buried by feet of snow in January, but the mountains make a great destination for backcountry skiing. Most treat the trails as a day trip destination from the Front Range, but a few friends decided to camp out in a snow cave. Emergency shovels were put to work, and a temporary accommodation for five was carved out of the snowpack. Battery-powered lights were a great last minute addition to the cave. While I was warm inside, the camera clicked away as the stars tracked across the sky above moonlit mountains.

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Quandary Peak

As a 14er, Quandary is an easily approachable mountain throughout the year, situated just south of Breckinridge, CO. The route is so popular in the wintertime that snowshoes can typically be left behind. Having family in town for a short trip makes the mountain an attractive destination for easily earned views in a day trip.

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Douglas DeVoto
Mt. Sneffels

What started as a trip to explore golden aspens turning into another 14er hike. The timing was perfect to enjoy the changing colors of the trees, but a dry fall had yet to blanket the mountains with their first snowfall. The warm weather made for great late-season hiking and tackling the trail up to Sneffels from the East Dallas Creek was just the reward for Penny after waiting patiently by my camera’s tripod for landscape shots.

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Douglas DeVoto