We had a great day planned -- high, mountain passes, gorgeous scenery, and lots of mining history. We met in Conifer and headed to our turnoff on the county road. We weren't too far down the washboard road before we decided to pull over and air down there in a wide spot. It's a long, bumpy road to tackle aired up. The sun was out, and it looked like it was going to be a gorgeous day.
There were lots of people at the parking areas near the trailhead, which made sense for a gorgeous Saturday. We didn't see a lot of masks, but it looked like people were keeping their distance and just hanging out with their friends and family. We drove straight to the trailhead and headed up, seeing lots of people camping on the side of the trail as we got started.
It wasn't long before we left the crowds behind and we had the trail to ourselves. We knew lots of people were on Red Cone, so it was good to have a quiet, peaceful trail.
We were in the trees for a while, and after a short break we were climbing and found ourselves out in the valley. It was absolutely beautiful.
When we got to the crossroads, we turned to go to the mine first. The water crossing wasn't deep. We were hoping that the brush wasn't as close to the trail as it was the time before, but it was. None of us really cared, though, as we had plenty of Rocky Mountain Pin-striping already.
There were some pretty fun rocky areas along the trail, but the spur wasn't very long. When we got to the main building at the mine site, we parked and got out to explore.
We were there for a while, just checking things out. The mine area is very interesting, with lots to see. A marmot wasn't happy we were there, but we steered clear of each other.
What really kept us there was the scenery. There were patches of snow on the mountains around us, a clear and calm river below us, and everything was green and lush. It really is one of the best places for Colorado scenery without having to go too far from Denver.
But we knew we had to keep going, so we turned around and went back to the crossroads. A jet flew over us, probably enjoying the scenery. A quick trip along the other spur put us at the gate we were expecting, with warning signs mentioning radioactive materials. Needless to say, we didn't spend any time there.
We headed back to the trailhead to continue along on our day of trails.