The Crags

I was going back through my trail journal and realized I never got the Crags trip up on the website. There were actually two trips to the Crags. One successful and the other not quite so. It was our neighbor Jerry who first told me about the Crags. The trailhead is located on the Crags Campground which is off Hwy 67 a few miles south of Divide, CO. There is a long access road from the highway that runs up to the campground. It is pretty rough and narrow at spots but a 2WD car would have no problem getting up there.

Our first attempt at finding the trail was a bust. You actually have to go through the campgrounds to get to the trailhead. The map I had was a little vague and we went past the campgrounds and started out on a different trail that runs down through Putney Gulch. We hiked for an hour or so and finally decided that we must be on the wrong trail so we turned around. After making a little more detailed examination of the map I figured out where I went wrong and we went back to the campground.

We had lunch at the campground and I convinced everyone that we should at least check out the real trail even if we didn’t go all the way to the end. This wasn’t an overly popular decision but we all went far enough to see the beauty of the area even if we did not make it to the end where the “awesome view” is supposed to be. That would have to wait for another day.

That “other” day came when Jeff & Sharon Newburn stopped by for a visit. Jeff and I took off in the morning and drove up to the trailhead. The trail starts out through the forest and goes along beside a small mountain stream. The terrain is gentle and before long you break out into the open and realize you are hiking into a beautiful alpine meadow. It’s one of those Kodak moments. The trail continues quite aways along through the meadow and eventually comes to the actual “Crags” where you can climb up onto the rocks and are greeted with a spectacular view off to the north.

We stopped and ate our lunch on the rocks and let Abby chase the chipmunks and squirrels. We could see thunderstorms brewing off to the west so we didn’t stay too long. Rather than taking the established path back down to the trail we ventured down a different route and made a pleasant discovery. We found the actual source of the mountain stream. It was a spring that just bubbled up out the ground. That has always amazed me how water can just bubble out of the ground at nearly 11,000 feet elevation.

We dawdled a little on the way back, taking some time to climb around on some of the rock formations but we made it back to the Jeep before it started raining.