Colorado Trip Part Three
Ski Towns, Box Canyon, and Waterfalls
We made it through the editing, and now here’s the third and final week of our trip! 3,400 photos, 120 gigabytes of photos and videos, and over 5,200 miles later and our journey has come to a close. Our third week led us to Placerville, located in the Southwest corner of Colorado’s mountains. Similar to the 2nd week, the town of our actual lodging was not terribly significant, but it was near areas we wanted to be. In this case, Placerville was close to the iconic town of Telluride, which featured Bridal Veil Falls. Other highlights included visiting the amazing town of Ouray with their Hot Springs, driving the insanely scenic roads through Box Canyon, capturing the Coal Trains of Silverton, and exploring the beautiful waterfalls in South Mineral Campground.
Ironically enough, while Telluride was going to be the highlight of this week, we were not big fans of the actual town. Traffic was a mess and there weren't as many shops as we had hoped. However, just outside of Telluride, within sight even, rested Bridal Veil Falls. This waterfall flowed off a huge cliff wall, with a power plant resting at the top. You can hike 5 miles or do what we did and rent a 4 wheel-drive jeep to drive the treacherous zig zaggy "unpaved" road to the top. Part of this "road" was basically made of boulders and at one point there was a small stream. The sight from the falls was breathtaking though as it gave a great view of the canyon where Telluride rested.
One of the biggest highlights was a day spent travelling to South Mineral Campground. I had marked this location as a destination due to the pristine water basins and waterfalls flowing into them. However, our day became much more involved than expected. We first passed through the quaint mountain town of Ouray, which unexpectedly had a beautiful hot spring that we later partook in. They pride themselves as being the "Switzerland of America", and the journey onward from there held up to that title.
Known as Box Canyon, the road out of Ouray was a narrow-paved road that ran through the mountains. However, unlike Glenwood Canyons, this road was vertically in the middle. There was virtually no space between your car and falling thousands of feet to the valley below, which made for a cautious drive. This path led to a beautiful lake that perfectly reflected the red mountains behind it.
From here, we were close to our destination but opted for a restroom break first. Seeing as our path onward took us down an unknown dirt road, we decided to take a detour away from South Mineral Campground. Ironically enough, this detour led us to the town of Silverton. This old-fashioned town was like being in the Wild West, dirt roads, taverns, and a coal train that you could ride to the nearest town. We stopped for lunch and ended up getting some great shots of the train, as it pulled directly into town for a photo op, more coal, and then reversed back the other way.
Finally, we made our way down a long dirt road to South Mineral Campground. On arrival, we ran into a couple that had just gotten married and took a photo for them. Then we made the short hike to our destination - the most beautiful spot on our entire trip in my opinion. Perhaps due to its inaccessibility, these falls had just the right amount of mysticism about them to make it feel like I had found something few see. This was not Maroon Bells or Hanging Lake, covered with thousands of tourists every day. This spot, located off the beaten path, felt too secluded and too intact to have been visited frequently. The trail goes up along the cliff edges and leads to a beautiful water basin, vibrantly blue and with a waterfall flowing in from the cliffs. If I had more time, I might have found myself sitting there for hours. But alas, by then we had spent most of the day just getting there and it was getting dark.
This third week was a perfect conclusion to an amazing trip, and I hope you have enjoyed all the photos so far, as well as the ones below for this week. Stay tuned for my next adventure!Watch Aerial Video of Week Three