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Going (to) Bonanza!

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by NYCO, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Oct 31, 2014 at 8:18 AM
    #1
    NYCO

    NYCO [OP] go explore...

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    took my dad out exploring near Bonanza, CO this fall to explore some old mining operations and enjoy the Colorado foliage. We topped off the weekend with a trip to the Great Sand Dunes and left via Medano Pass..

    great area to explore IMO. some fun, easy trails snaking all around the mountains with mining relics scattered all around.

    more information on the trail system can be found through Stay the Trail, http://staythetrail.org/maps/viewtrail.php?trail_id=89
    you can also find the downloadable brochure of the area showing the main trails and information about the area.

    we decided to take Clover Creek (FS876) into the area off 285 hoping to see some of the Tramway that parallels the trail for a section (only saw foundations).
    [​IMG]bonanza-1 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    there are a few great camping spots just past that photo ^ in the aspen grove on the left (pics to follow within the grove).

    looking back toward 285 and the norhtern Sangre de Cristo mountains
    [​IMG]bonanza-2 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    a few pics in the grove...amazing spot..had lunch down there before we continued on...
    [​IMG]bonanza-4 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-5 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-6 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-7 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    this was the larger of the camping spots...had lunch here
    [​IMG]

    to be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  2. Oct 31, 2014 at 8:19 AM
    #2
    NYCO

    NYCO [OP] go explore...

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    after lunch we continued up Clover Creek to the Tramway where it dropped down into Bonanza. along the way, we stopped at Little Darling mine to get a taste of what's to come. Little Darling is just that...little. not much there, old shaft and few mining structure tucked in the forest.

    the trail past Little Darling got tight, steep and had some butt puckering off-camber sections...definitely not a good trail to meet oncoming traffic. we got lucky when we encountered oncoming traffic and managed to find safe pull offs. mainly ATVs back in these areas and got some crazy looks from them with my rig :laugh: at one point a guy warned me of an upcoming section that gets "pretty gnarly"...i still am not sure which section he was referring too :D i'm sure the difference in wheelbase from ATV versus Tacoma make the washouted sections much more stable for us...

    anyway...made it down to the intersection with the Otto Mears Toll Road (FS 869) then went down a bit to meet up with Alder Creek (FS 890) to check out some mines...this section is littered with mining operations left and right! you could spend days exploring this region checking out the old operations....

    still trying to figure out which mines were what in the beginning part...this lower one is Superior i think?
    [​IMG]bonanza-11 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-13 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-16 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-17 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-19 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-20 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-23 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-25 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    here let me turn some color on for you :cool:
    [​IMG]bonanza-26 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    storage bunker where the roof collapsed
    [​IMG]bonanza-28 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-30 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    then my dad found this cabin up the hill a bit from the mine..very cool interior
    [​IMG]bonanza-32 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    but time was not on our side to explore more in the area that day...so we turned back down hill to head toward Bonanza again where we'll continue...
    [​IMG]bonanza-34 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  3. Oct 31, 2014 at 8:19 AM
    #3
    NYCO

    NYCO [OP] go explore...

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    hearing good things about the Cocomongo Mine and Mill, i decided to take the Slaughterhouse/Kerber Creek Loop (FS 873) and find camp over there...

    not too into the trail you come across the Cocomongo Mine and Mill
    [​IMG]bonanza-35 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-37 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-41 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-42 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-43 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-46 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-48 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    i would love to see pictures of this building back in the day..full of equipment and operating...must have been crazy..
    [​IMG]bonanza-38 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-40 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-49 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-50 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    again...time was running short and we needed to get moving to find camp and setup before it got too late...
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  4. Oct 31, 2014 at 8:19 AM
    #4
    NYCO

    NYCO [OP] go explore...

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    the original plan was to head up to Mosquito Lake where per satellite, looked like a great spot right by the lake to setup camp...and there was...but it was gated off 100' or so from the lake...would have been a great spot
    [​IMG]

    so we continued along the loop where we found a large spot used frequently by hunters (hanging racks and bones scattered the area)
    [​IMG]

    turned out to be a good change of plans as the clouds set in overnight and we woke up to clouds blanketing the peaks and most likely would have socked in the lake as well....but the clouds stayed away long enough at night to grab some shots...
    [​IMG]bonanza-51 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-53 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-54 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    thanks for the tips Phil :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  5. Oct 31, 2014 at 8:19 AM
    #5
    NYCO

    NYCO [OP] go explore...

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    so as i said, we woke up to some cloudy mountains...but turned out to make for a really eerie feel to the mines

    wanting to see more along Alder Creek, we took that route out stopping by Rawley, Antora, Legal Tender, Colorado Belle and Morning Star mines...

    on the way up Alder Creek, above Superior heading to Rawley Mine
    [​IMG]bonanza-56 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    the following is of Rawley/Antora Mill and Mine
    [​IMG]bonanza-57 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-58 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-59 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-60 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-62 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-63 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-64 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    then onto the next ones...
    [​IMG]bonanza-61 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    Legal Tender was at the top of the mountain with some vertical shafts and a couple structures...nothing too exciting

    down a bit was Colorado Belle
    [​IMG]bonanza-65 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-66 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-67 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    and further down Morningstar?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  6. Oct 31, 2014 at 8:20 AM
    #6
    NYCO

    NYCO [OP] go explore...

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    after wrapping up Alder Creek, we shot south on 285 to check out the Great Sand Dunes...dad's never been, so i had to include it in the weekend plans...

    didn't take any pics here as i was just at the dunes on a recent trip... https://www.flickr.com/photos/101673349@N04/sets/72157646718080708

    taken from that trip \/
    [​IMG]Schofield-Dunes-Medano-RH-16 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Schofield-Dunes-Medano-RH-17 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Schofield-Dunes-Medano-RH-18 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    :cool:
    [​IMG]Schofield-Dunes-Medano-RH-22 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  7. Oct 31, 2014 at 8:50 AM
    #7
    NYCO

    NYCO [OP] go explore...

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    then to wrap up the weekend, we took Medano Pass out from the dunes...such a cool option to get in/out of the park... see above album for some night pics of Medano Pass...

    again had some clouds covering the peaks, but i was cool with that...made for a cool feel to the trail and surroundings
    [​IMG]bonanza-68 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    even saw some traffic on the trail
    [​IMG]

    the area was hit hard by fire not too long ago which made for some great contrast of life & death
    [​IMG]bonanza-70 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    and overall just beautiful during this time of the year....
    [​IMG]bonanza-69 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonanza-71 by NYCO-rh, on Flickr

    until next time...

    thanks for reading :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  8. Oct 31, 2014 at 9:07 AM
    #8
    RogueTRD

    RogueTRD Learn to swim...

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    Awesome :) Great pics, I'd love to go explore that area.
     
  9. Oct 31, 2014 at 9:14 AM
    #9
    ArcherTaco

    ArcherTaco Well-Known Member

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    Awesome area and an awesome set of pictures for sure. Great work!
    If you like backpacking at all head up toward medano lake and Blanca peak. there is a lot of rough and beautiful country in there. Great wildlife spotting area during the summer
     
  10. Oct 31, 2014 at 9:36 AM
    #10
    GreenChileTaco

    GreenChileTaco The Hotter the Green Chile the Better!

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    This is one of those not too known great areas of CO. Used to cruise in there with my dad years ago when I was a kid. Gonna have to head down there next summer/fall. Great pics! Thanks!
     
  11. Oct 31, 2014 at 9:38 AM
    #11
    NYCO

    NYCO [OP] go explore...

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    thanks...it's a cool area to explore..tons to see and trails aren't super hard, so you are able to spend more time enjoying the area

    agreed and thanks...yea i've been eying alot of those trails recently after planning two trips through the area...so much to see in this state! keep you busy for decades for sure...
     
  12. Oct 31, 2014 at 9:40 AM
    #12
    NYCO

    NYCO [OP] go explore...

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    agreed... a lot of saguache county has some cool areas that are rarely traveled.. good region to "get away"
     
  13. Oct 31, 2014 at 10:17 AM
    #13
    ArcherTaco

    ArcherTaco Well-Known Member

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    Let me know if you want to put together a trip. I try to hear out somewhere around there at least twice a year. Usually during the summer but I'd be down to go.
     
  14. Oct 31, 2014 at 11:21 AM
    #14
    Papa Taco

    Papa Taco HARD CAAAAAAARRRRRRRL

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    well I know my Friday just got a lot more enjoyable :popcorn:
     
  15. Oct 31, 2014 at 11:25 AM
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    scottalot

    scottalot Something smartalic

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    Great pics. I'd have a blast checking out old mines like that. Cool leaves changing colors too. Looks like a great trip :)
     
  16. Oct 31, 2014 at 1:32 PM
    #16
    ArcherTaco

    ArcherTaco Well-Known Member

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    Come down here and we can facilitate that :thumbsup:
     
  17. Oct 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM
    #17
    DeSean Thick

    DeSean Thick TuRD TACO

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    Very cool! those trails would be much more agreeable to my girlfriend, I'm sure
     
  18. Oct 31, 2014 at 1:49 PM
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    Augie

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    Great pics...very cool rig.
     
  19. Oct 31, 2014 at 10:17 PM
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    Blackdawg

    Blackdawg Dr. Frankenstein

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    Great photos!
     
  20. Oct 31, 2014 at 11:22 PM
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    SnowroxKT

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    Thanks for sharing, great pics!
     
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