Exploring the Huerfano Ridge Tops
On the second day, I climbed the Huerfano Trail which switchbacked steeply up the eastern wall of the valley. On top was a forested plateau with a level trail. I planned to find a loop hike with several different trails, but could not find the first intersection. I went off trail a bit and found a beautiful valley. I went back down to the trailhead and car camped below. The final day I climbed up onto the western ridge which was higher and above tree line. From the high, tundra on top of the ridge I could see for great distances in all directions. There were tall peaks at the top of the basin, including three over 14,000 feet to the south. To the north, I looked down on the dunes of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and to the high peaks beyond. When I approached the first peak at 13,000 feet, there were mountain sheep on top. I reached a point at 13,500 feet and turned back. I returned slowly, enjoying the beautiful distances. Different varieties of gentian flowers were scattered across the alpine tundra and the sides of the ridge.