We were driving from Denver to Ouray, and we stopped for lunch at a great BBQ place in Gunnison along the way to the trail. In our haste to get to the Owl Creek Pass trailhead we forgot to gas up before leaving town. So we had to venture a couple of miles past the trailhead to the nearest gas station and double back. We hit the trailhead at about 1:30 in the afternoon, and we were really glad to get off the pavement. Walt suggested that we do the trail without airing down as he had done this trail previously and remembered the trail was pretty smooth. This trail will add a few miles to our trip, cutting off the corner of highway where Montrose sits. It would also add a bit of time to our trip to Ouray, but we had plenty of daylight remaining.
The trail wandered through a small, residential area but it wasn't long before houses gave way to open space and we could see Cimarron Ridge in the distance. The ridge is made up of spires, lined up like soldiers in a formation.
We meandered through groves of tall aspen trees and into meadows with views that took our breath away. The aspen immediately adjacent to the trail had barely started to turn but did provide a nice contrast with the beautiful blue skies. We could see several blotches of yellow aspen in the distance. In a week or so, the views of the aspens along this trail will indeed be breathtaking.
Soon we were into some switchbacks, mellow but frequent. We stopped at what appeared to be the summit, though there was no sign indicating anything of the sort. We began our descent and took in views of the valley below. After the descent, it wasn't long before we hit highway 550 and we made our way to Ouray.
With three days of wheeling ahead of us we were anxious to get started, but we would wait until tomorrow for another trail.