This was our last trail of the trip, and it was a fantastic way to end an amazing vacation. We did Arrastra Gulch, and then headed over to Little Giant Basin. For most of it, we didn't see anyone else.
We were in the trees for a while, and then we popped out at the mine and the last remaining tramway tower. It was chilly as the afternoon clouded over, and we didn't spend much time here. Exploring the mine itself would need to wait for another day.
We talked briefly about turning around here to head down to dinner in Silverton, but we decided to press on. From the maps, it looked like it might be a long trail that ended at Cunningham Gulch, another trail that had somehow escaped us even though we'd done Stony Pass a couple of times. It promised to be a long day, but we agreed it was okay.
There were little mine shafts all over the place, and a big building at the bottom of the basin with no visible way to get to it. It looked like someone was working on a restoration, but we had no idea if it was on private property or even how to get to it. We looked down on it and chatted, but then passed it.
We enjoyed a few rocks in the trail, and then the trail we thought we were on went up the side of the mountain. It was long overgrown, though, and didn't exist anymore for Jeeps. We were on a developed and well-used trail, though, so we kept going.
The trail soon ended at some very scenic ponds, where we got out to stretch our legs and check things out. A lot of people could camp there, and we imagined a big bonfire well above timberline with our friends all around. It would never be very warm up there, though, so we thought the campground we were at might be a better idea.
It was obvious that the trail wasn't going to connect to Cunningham Gulch, so the day we thought was going to be long turned out to be much shorter. In a way, we were all relieved. It's tough to have a marathon day on the last day of a busy vacation.
After hanging out for a while, we finally gave in to the weather and headed down into Silverton. We took the frontage road next to the river on the way out, and it was really nice though it was short. When we got to Silverton, we had an awesome dinner before heading back to Ouray. It was a great time!