For our May trip, we wandered 4 hours south to Pagosa Springs.
The incredibly scenic drive went right over Wolf Creek Pass -- full of rocky cliffs, box canyons and waterfalls.
5 million RVs and the smell of sulfur greeted us as we entered Pagosa Springs.
Luckily, the "touristy-ness" of Pagosa did not overshadow the spectacular views of the San Juan mountains.
Day 1: Out of the town and into the San Juans
The San Juans are full of waterfalls, so we set out to find a few.
(Pause for obligatory TLC reference)
It was an easy jaunt to the first waterfall.
The second required a bit more effort, but provided even better views.
We found the second waterfall at the top of a flooded canyon.
Less attractive but more exciting
On the way out, this Geologic area was even more breathtaking than the waterfalls.
Day 2: Let's take it easy
With sore legs and tight backs, we couldn't possibly survive another big hike.
We decided to take a nice easy walk to explore some (iceless) ice fissures.
Some of the fissures were easy to wander into....Who could resist!?
40 feet below ground, there was a very noticeable drop in temperature.
There were a few tight squeezes...
But no flesh eating monsters.
Just so many spiders.
Eventually, the trail led us away from the fissures and to the top of this incredible canyon.
We hung out and made some new friends before heading back down.
What we thought would be an easy trip down, quickly turned strenuous when we lost the trail.
We were forced to scramble down one of the steep canyon walls, towards the river.
Though steep, scary and stressful
The base of the canyon was gorgeous and made for an exciting and impressive detour.
The trail alongside the river eventually led us back to our car and to even more spectacular views.
Day 3: A small hike before heading home
We stopped along Wolf Creek Pass to explore a bit before the long drive back
What was supposed to be a flat three mile loop around Hunters lake, (accidentally) turned into a much longer hike up to nearly 12,000 feet.
It was exhausting
and at moments, disheartening.
But a great way to end another amazing trip!
I'm thankful for these monthly trips, which prevent the onset of restlessness and keep me inspired.
It's easy to get lost in the monotony of day to day life but there is a whole world out there that we should be exploring.
Next stop: unknown.