We were over on Highway 145 and we needed to get back to Highway 550 and Silverton. There are a few options, and staying on the pavement meant the highest number of miles. We thought we'd check out something different, so we headed down south to the Bolam Pass trail.
We were running it from west to east, so we started out in Dolores County. It was pretty mellow, but then there was a sign noting that the trail got rough. We checked out a cabin that was locked up and apparently being renovated, and then we started up.
It was definitely bumpy! We realized how far we had to go, and if it stayed that bumpy it would be a long trail, for sure. Luckily, the bumpiness mellowed out soon enough.
It seemed like we had climbed to the top, and the trail was fairly level. We saw on our GPS units that we were at Bolam Pass (we didn't see a sign). The sights from this point were very impressive. We were on the edge of a cliff looking out on Tin Can Basin, and you could see mountains in layers in the distance. It was very pretty.
We went around the cliff's edge and turned left at an intersection (straight said it was a dead end). After a corner, we came to a parking area at Graysill Mines. We got out to check it out.
There were skeletons of two animals there, obviously placed by people. There was a sign to read that explained the mining purposes in the area. The one cabin we looked at was still standing, but pretty trashed on the inside.
We were soon on our way and heading down the switchbacks. The trail was pretty mellow, so it was fairly quick. After the switchbacks there were some ruts, so we had to slow down again.
Then we saw some people camping -- with a horse trailer. So we knew it had to be a fairly smooth trail on the other side. They definitely didn't drag it up the way we came. Soon after that, we came to the intersection with Scotch Creek.
We had hoped to run Scotch Creek from here to the trailhead and back again, but the sun was really going down fast. Another huge truck and horse trailer went by, so we really were sure that the rest of the trail would be mellow. We took a vote, and we decided to do Scotch Creek -- of course!
Scotch Creek was a blast, and it took us a little while to get back to the intersection with Bolam Pass again. It was nearly dark when we started in on the south half of the trail, and it was pitch black for most of the way out. Still, it was a smooth and fast road.
We were tired but happy when we were airing up across the highway from the ski area. It was a long day, but it was great! Unfortunately, when we got to town we found everything closed. That meant a dinner of snacks and nutrition bars. We all headed for bed. What a great day!