Backpacking In The San Juan Mountains, Colorado
One of the incredible perks of being a Colorado gear company is that we have some of the most beautiful and dramatic vistas in the country. Our backyard is the San Juan Mountains, Colorado. This rugged mountain range is known for it's colorful mountains, jagged summits, and extremely wild terrain. The San Juan Mountains exist within the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado, the largest Wilderness area in Colorado, at over half a million acres.
If you are new to following Cold Case Gear, first of all I'd like to say thanks for checking us out! We're a small company out of Southwest Colorado. It was founded by the author of this blog, yours truly, Jon Rosenberg. We are so fortunate that my very talented wife, Deirdre Denali is our in house photographer. Seriously, she does a killer job.
We opened up preorders this past Monday and before that we took one last trip into the San Juan Mountains. Our motivation was simple. Find some mountain goats and get some great fresh content to revamp our website and product pages.
We discovered that our West Slope Case is hail proof, among other things.
This was a trip that we had been wanting to do for years and it is a true Colorado classic that goes back decade. This area is accessed by the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad. From there, it's a seven mile trek through the wilderness. Once you've reached the basin you can set up camp and explore from there.
Waiting for the train and feeling a little bit apprehensive about the 75 pound backpack that needs to get hauled into camp. Camera gear is heavy folks and we want to make sure every photo you see on our website has jaw dropping quality.
From our basecamp we had a few treks planned up to 12,500 feet where there is a stunning alpine lake, and rumor has it, lots of mountain goats! While we did get to spend five days out in the basin we only got lucky with wildlife on our final day.
Needless to say, we really lucked out and were able to get some incredible images from this trip and we can't wait to get back!
One of the most important parts of visiting this area, and all other wilderness areas, is to practice Leave No Trace. These easy principles are there to make sure the wilderness stays wild and largely undisturbed by its many visitors. I would encourage you to get familiar with these LNT principles and practice them on every hike. By putting these principles to use we can keep the public lands we love pristine for all future generations.
But wait....there's more.
In Colorado, and really all of the Mountain West of the USA, human waste, sadly, has become a major problem that pollutes our beautiful public lands. There is a way that you can help. Part of Leave No Trace, and general wilderness practice, is to dispose of waste properly. In the past this has consisted of digging a cathode 6-8" deep and burying your waste, but packing out your TP. More areas, including the one pictured, are "recommending" or requiring that you actually pack out your own waste. You read that right. On our trip we did in fact pack out all of our own waste and it was simple, not a big deal, and really left us feeling better about ourselves. Do your part. Pack it out! Do yourself a favor and pick up some of these. They're easy to use and go a long way to making our wilderness poop free.