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Thread: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17

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    Default Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    On Thursday, June 17th we're going to Wheeler Geologic Area near Creede. It's a unique place in Colorado that you have to hike or 4x4 and hike to, and it's in one of the most beautiful areas of the state. The trail is suitable for any 4x4 in dry weather.

    Meet up at around 8-9 AM here https://www.google.com/maps/place/37...4d-106.8343705

    and take Pool Table road to Wheeler Geologic Area.

    The area and some history



    The trail in dry conditions with the hike at the end.



    The whole trail muddy, driven by an LR3 (Ford minivan)


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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    The video I used to convince the wife to take the 4x4 road. I both owe this woman a thank you and will throw her under the bus if my wife has a bad time.


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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17




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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Paul,
    I'm very interested in tagging along on this trip with you. It looks like a really neat area and something my truck and my skill level can do.
    -Alison

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    Paul (May 28th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    You are more than welcome! You're truck is very capable and should have no issues on Wheeler or Bonanza on Friday if you're interested in that too.

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    BuckyTheTrucky (May 28th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Paul are you and your wife going to stay Wednesday and Thursday at the same hotel? Just wondering if so I might tent camp at the same location for both evenings. I'm really looking forward to this! Thank for inviting us FR 4X4 along.

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Yep, no camping this time for us. It's been a long pandemic, lots of time in the backcountry and away from people, we got a suite with a kitchen and patio for two nights. I sent you and Alison a PM with where we're staying and our #s. I'm glad you're coming, it should be a lot of fun! I think we may take the Xterra, not sure yet. I'm not sure how difficult anything in Bonanza is, Wheeler looks OK for a stock rig if it's dry.

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Think I'll bring a bowsaw. This guy was there in June last year and there were a few trees down.


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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    I've been considering a 40 volt chainsaw for some time. I have a great sthil gas saw but really hate the idea of all that noise and carrying the gas oil mix. When I did a trip (early June) last year Telluride/Ouray area, we had to move a lot of down trees too. We kind of fun all hand saws and axes. We had several healthy guys to work them.

    We are going down that way next weekend, staying at the Matterhorn Inn for a couple of nights. Taking the jeep because we are stopping along the way to join Overland Bound for a get together. (Annual early June camp/meet up). My wife deserves too have a hotel stay too!

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    I like either camping or staying somewhere nice, it's the in between stuff like established campgrounds and cheap hotels that I dislike. We stayed at the Matterhorn a few years back and they were hosting the FJSummit in the parking lot on our last day. I watched Expedition:Overland set up their booth during morning coffee. Ouray is a magic place, I hope you have a great time!

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Ouray definitely never disappoints, twice I've been down there to Overland the area. And this will be my wife's second time to come down to enjoy the towns. I wanted to camp down there but with the pool still being restricted, (great place to clean-up after camping) hence the motel.

    Paul how far is the hike to Wheeler Geologic area? Sammie does very well hiking but, lately he has been acting his age. A good hike will make him rest very well though. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Description of the road and hiking trail from https://www.southfork.org/wheeler-geological-area

    From Hansonís Mill, the 4-wheel drive road is well marked, and designated as Forest Service Road 600. The road is a narrow corridor that is surrounded by the newly created wilderness area. The left fork can be driven for about a mile until the road ends and the 5.7 mile hiking and horse trail begins (Trail No. 790). The 4-wheel drive route goes straight ahead at the fork, beginning the start of a long and bumpy 14 miles to Wheeler. The road is relatively flat, as the Wheeler site is only 300 feet higher than Hansonís Mill. However, deep ruts and an unending succession of big rocks keep progress to a crawl. The 14 mile trip will often require more than three hours. The scenery along the route is so beautiful that stops for pictures and looking always slow progress. A variety of wildlife is common with deer, elk and coyotes rewarding those who keep a sharp eye on the surrounding forest. The last mile of the road winds through dense stands of fir and spruce, with deep ruts and narrow spaces between trees requiring some driving skills, when wet, this section of road becomes so slick that not even 4-wheel drive provides much control.


    The road ends about a half-mile from the formations, where there are several nice spots to camp or have a picnic. A well-defined foot trail leads to the geologic area. After 200 yards, the trail divides; straight ahead leads to the base of the scenic area and a small rough shelter that was built around 1915. The left fork climbs around the west side of the formations to a spectacular scenic overlook that provides a panorama of the entire area. A small bench has been erected near the overlook. Visitors will need to be careful at the overlook and everywhere else you walk on the volcanic tuff. Erosion has formed canyons with steep walls. Many small round pebbles lie about the ash fields, resultin gin tteacherous footing much like walking on a floor covered with marbles. A trip to the Wheeler Geologic area requires a long day plus strong legs, a horse or 4-wheel drive vehicle.

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Update: When I planned this I spoke to the Rangers first and was told the anticipated opening date this year was around June 1, June 15 at the latest. I just got off the phone with the Del Norte rangers office, who apparently I was bothering by calling, and Ms. Sunshine told me it won't be until the end of the month or so. Also, there is no campfire ban in the area.

    We are still going down, there is a lot to do and see in the area, but it sucks that Wheeler is closed.

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    We are still up for adventure.

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Just PMd you and David, there are some other cool things there: Summitville, Blowout Pass, Platoro Reservoir and Park Creek looks like a good replacement run. They are listed as open, I'm calling anyway. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogr...TELPRDB5363838

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    These look fun. I'm looking at other possible dispersed camping in in the area that's closer to these. Friday possibly driving back by sand dunes. Also hoping to run bonanza if there's time Wednesday.

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Sand dunes Friday sounds GREAT! Bonanza Wed is a possibility for us, but we have some stuff in the morning before we leave and I don't want to commit to a time I might not make.

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    I got confused on the trails. I meant to say the bachelor loop. I'm going to meet up with JandDGreens Wednesday and drive together out there and based on time we will decide if we want to do bachelor loop out of creede. Let's get a new meeting point and time set for Thursday morning. I often don't have any cell coverage once I get out of the front range. He and I decided to stick with the original camp area he researched, and we have a few backups if needed. Should be really pretty up there.

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    Thursday morning we can meet at the South Fork Visitor Center at whatever time you think would be comfortable for you guys (unless you have another idea?). From there it is only 20 minutes to the start of Summitville Road in Del Norte, and we can come back along Park Creek to South Fork. It should be very easy and beautiful with a lot to see, probably not much 4x4.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/So...4d-106.6417408

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    Default Re: Wheeler Geologic Area June 17



    10 ? I'm game for earlier, but don't want anyone else to feel rushed. Any thoughts David?

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