Corkscrew, Hurricane, California Passes + Mineral Creek

Earlier this summer, my friend Molly asked if I would pilot her Jeep up Yankee Boy basin while her mom was visiting. Molly drives a JK with a pretty good size lift but wasn’t really comfortable driving it off-road herself. A girl needs to know how to drive her own Jeep so we decided to take a little adventure so she could get that experience.

Cruising around the San Juans is always such a delight:

Corkscrew-Hurricane-California Passes

Corkscrew Pass

We’ve been itching to get up to the high country and haven’t been very successful between work and snow. Last Sunday, we finally headed up Corkscrew Pass. We didn’t have a very concrete plan, just that I had to be at work by 3:30.

As we reached the end of Corkscrew Gulch and started climbing towards the pass, I was astounded by the colors. The blue sky contrasting with the bright red of Red Mountains #1, #2, and #2 backed with gray snow covered peaks was just breathtaking.

Corkscrew Gulch

Corkscrew Pass

Forrest and Sprocket

Sprocket

Corkscrew Pass

From Corkscrew Pass, we skirted the basin of Cement Creek on our way to Hurricane Pass. The views continued to be amazing as we climbed higher and higher. (Sprocket was apparently worn out by sniffing and took a nap.)

Cement Creek basin

Near Hurricane Pass

Sprocket

Hurricane Pass

After enjoying the view at the top of the pass, we studied our map and decided to head home via Poughkeepsie Gulch. Poughkeepsie is supposed to be an awesome jeep road and would have made a nice loop for us. Unfortunately, the start of the road was still blocked by snow so we settled for some awesome views of Lake Como and then headding out via Animas Forks and California Pass.

Lake Como

We were starting to be a little short on time so we had to hit the road. We’re looking forward to stopping to explore the ghost town of Animas Forks, run Poughkeepsie Gulch, and take Sprocket swimming at one of his favorite new lakes!

Beth and Forrest