Kendall Mountain had been on our To Do List for a long time, but we never made the time to do it. We knew it was a popular trail, so we were looking forward to it. We headed down to Silverton and drove to where we thought the trail started, but the trailhead wasn't where we thought it was going to be. We had to head back into town and take other streets to find the true trailhead, and then we headed up the hill.
We stopped a few times on the way up to take photos of Silverton below us. We could also see people on Highway 550 at overlooks, and we wondered if they could see us. It would be cool to see Jeeps cruising up a mountain, we thought.
The morning light brightened as we climbed up and out of the trees, and we were above timberline. We were driving up a steep hill when we came to a hunter who was walking up it with all of his gear, so we gave him a ride up to his truck near the mine shaft. He said he had killed an elk already, so he was having a good morning.
We hung out at the mine shaft discussing what to do and enjoying morning snacks and scenery. We decided to keep going in the same direction first, and we headed out. The shelf road wasn't usually very narrow, but it wouldn't be fun for someone afraid of heights. It was a short trip to the turnaround spots at the mine. We enjoyed the scenery but we didn't drive around the final switchbacks and access roads up to the mine itself, content to just look from below. We saw a pica checking us out, and then we headed back.
The other spur was definitely rockier, which made the shelf-road climb intimidating but not too technical. This side was longer and steeper, but it wasn't long before we got to the weather station. Monica parked there while Walt went to go check out the trail around the corner. It was a regret, as the turnaround was tight with multiple points. When Walt got back, we hung out in the chilly wind just checking it all out. The scenery was gorgeous. We stopped at the overlook, but it wasn't as good as what we'd already been looking at near the weather station. We didn't stay long before heading back down.
We did Deer Park out and back, and then finished Kendall Mountain. We got really lucky and saw the train leaving Silverton just as we came into view of the town. We took a lot of photos and enjoyed watching it go. We were happy to finally have seen this trail.