Hiking Colorado's Sangre de Cristos and Great Sand Dunes: A Guide to the Area's Greatest Hiking Adventures

Hiking Colorado's Sangre de Cristos and Great Sand Dunes: A Guide to the Area's Greatest Hiking Adventures

by Lee Hart

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Overview

Lace up your boots and head into Colorado's rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains to explore this spine of soaring peaks that stand more than a mile above the San Luis and Wet Mountain Valleys. Here you'll discover plunging creeks, gorges cut from chunky conglomerate, and valleys where elk, bighorn sheep, coyote, and cougar live. Climb Kit Carson Mountain, Crestone Needle, or Blanca Peak; hike Black Canyon or Wild Cherry Creek. Wander the Great Sand Dunes National Park, which has the tallest dunes in North America. Local hiker and outdoor writer Lee Hart will introduce you to these trails and many more.

Inside you'll find: up-to-date trail information; accurate directions to wilderness trails; difficulty ratings; topographic trail maps; zero-impact tips.

Whether you are planning a day hike or an extended backpacking trip, you'll find trails suited to every ability and interest in one of the most beautiful regions of Colorado.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762782550
Publisher: Falcon Guides
Publication date: 02/15/2016
Series: Regional Hiking Series
Edition description: 2nd Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 588,741
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Lee Hart is a full-time public relations professional and part-time freelance journalist who enjoys writing about the things she is passionate about: outdoor adventures close to home and around the globe, skiing and mouuntain biking. She can really work herself into a froth writing about water issues and water politics. She lives on the river in the sweetly unpretentious mountain town of Salida, CO.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Being Prepared: Backcountry Safety and Hazards 2

Hiking with Children 9

Zero Impact 11

Geology 12

History of Life in the Sangre de Cristo 15

Sangre de Cristo Ecosystem 19

How to Use This Guide 22

Map Legend 25

USGS Topographic Map Index 26

Northern Sangre de Cristo 27

1 Rainbow Trail-Poncha Pass to Hayden Creek 30

2 Simmons Peak Trail 34

3 Hunts Lake 37

4 Stout Creek 40

5 Bushnell Lakes 43

6 Galena Peak 46

7 Nipple Mountain 49

Central Sangre de Cristo, East Side 52

8 Rainbow Trail-Hayden Creek to Hermit Pass Road 55

9 Cloverdale Basin 59

10 North Brush Creek 62

11 South Brush Creek 65

12 Texas Creek 68

13 Lakes of the Clouds 71

14 North Taylor Creek 74

15 Hermit Pass Road 78

16 Rainbow Trail-Hermit Pass Road to Medano Pass 81

17 Goodwin Lakes 85

18 Venable Creek 88

19 Comanche Lake 91

20 Cottonwood Creek-East 94

21 Horn Peak Trail 97

22 Dry Creek 101

23 Horn Creek 104

24 Macey Creek 107

25 North Colony Creek 110

26 South Colony Lakes 113

27 Humboldt Peak 116

28 Kit Carson Mountain 118

29 Crestone Needle 122

30 Crestone Peak 125

31 Marble Mountain Trail 128

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, East Side 131

32 Music Pass 133

33 Sand Creek Lakes 136

34 Little Sand Creek 140

35 Medano Lake 143

Central Sangre de Cristo, West Side 146

36 Black Canyon 149

37 Hot Springs Canyon 153

38 Garner Creek 156

39 Major Creek 159

40 Cotton Creek 163

41 Wild Cherry Creek 166

42 Rito Alto Creek 169

43 San Isabel Creek 172

44 North Crestone Creek 175

45 South Crestone Lake 178

46 Willow Creek 181

47 Kit Carson Mountain and Challenger Point 184

48 Cottonwood Creek-West 188

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, West Side 191

49 High Dune 194

50 Mosca Pass Trail 197

51 Sand Ramp Trail 200

Sierra Blanca 203

52 California Peak 205

53 Lily Like 208

54 Lake Como 211

55 Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point 214

56 Little Bear Peak 218

57 South Zapata Creek 222

Spanish Peaks Wilderness 225

58 Wahatoya Trail 227

59 West Spanish Peak 230

Appendix A Contacts 233

Appendix B Further Reading 237

Appendix C Hiker Checklist 239

Appendix D Summit List with GPS Coordinates 241

Hike hides 243

About the Authors 245

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