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Old 07-17-2014, 11:39 PM
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Default 7 Days in the San Jaun's, 1st week in August

Im taking the family (wife & 3 boys under 5) camping at Molas Lake outside of Silverton over the first week of August. This will be our first chance to explore the area Im hoping that I will be able to pull of at least 3 days of solid wheeling. I have been looking over Charles Wells' Guide and will start reviewing TrailDamage.com next, but here is what I am thinking in terms of trails so far:

Day 1
Corkscrew Gulch/Hurricane Pass > California Gulch > Engineer Pass > Cinnamon Pass

Day 2
Black Bear Pass > Imogene Pass > Yankee Basin > Governor Basin

Can one realistically do these groups of trails in a day each? Any thoughts on another string of trails that would make for a great day out exploring? Other trails that look fun:
-Ophir Pass
-Mineral Creek
-Poughkeepsie Gulch

I also expect to spend at least day at Mesa Verde and/or Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and i'm sure we will poke around Durango, Ouray, Silverton & Telluride. I would love your thoughts on any other must do trails (hiking or wheeling) or other must do activities.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:14 AM
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Default 7 Days in the San Jaun's, 1st week in August

You've got two "full days" of wheeling planned. By that I mean 06:00-9pm+ without much time to mess around or for mechanical issues. You could save Engineer & Yankee Boy for another trip & have a little more flexibility. Also, Black Bear hadn't open yet two weeks ago.... You'll probably be okay but it's a long way up to the closure sign. Just confirm before making the trek
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:27 AM
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Ah this is what I was suspecting.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:44 AM
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black bear is open now as reported by the creeper jeepers in durango.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:07 PM
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Alright how does this combo look for three days out on the trail?

Day 1: Engineer Pass > Cinnamon Pass
Day 2: Imogene Pass > Yankee Boy Basin
Day 3: Black Bear Pass > Ophir Pass
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:23 PM
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Molas is not the most ideal base camp for wheeling in the San Juans. You'd be better off in Silverton, Ouray or somewhere in between.

Your most recent trail runs are much more realistic. Based out of Molas I might also suggest the following:

Black Bear return via Bolam Pass
Imogene return on Ophir.

Still all pretty long days but not sun up to sun down at least. Governor's Basin is a nice side trip off of Imogene but takes a few hours to fully enjoy. No difficult wheeling just beautiful scenery. There are many spur roads that fit that description.

Black Bear opened last week. At this time I believe everything is now open.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:50 PM
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Black Bear is in fact open! Robbie, Chris Davis and I were maybe the first 3 to run it this year. The trail is in great shape but it's been very busy. Getting to the trailhead by 7am is your best bet. Trying to go between 9am and 2pm on the weekend is about the same as traveling I-70 from Frisco to Denver on a Sunday afternoon.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for all the feed back. Having a base camp was part of the give and take with the wife, she wanted the option of a nice spot she could chill with the youngest while I take the older boys wheeling. The plan is to do most of the wheeling Monday-Thursday specifically to avoid the crowds.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:57 PM
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You might check out the South Mineral Campground (NFS) as well. Its a better base camp IMO for wheeling. And an easier drive to town (Silverton) for that matter. And far enough away from HWY 550 to not hear the noise.

If your intention is to be closer to Durango for additional activities then Molas is better.
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