Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fall colors on Mount Kennon climb in Highwoods

Approaching Mount Kennon

We gained elevation quickly 
Gordon Whirry doing what he does so well

One of the many laccoliths on this climb

We bumped into some snow along the way

The Shonkin Ranger Station

The colors along Shonkin Creek were superb
This is a Fall-colors off-trail ridge walk that included a climb of Mount Kennon (elevation: 5,616 feet) from the Shonkin Ranger Station on the north side of the Highwood Mountains.The most difficult part of this hike is finding the trailhead on the gravel roads outside Highwood toward the ghost town of Shonkin.  Take a good highway map and be prepared for rough road for the last several miles.  I would suggest parking before crossing the creek.  We drove up the rough road to the Shonkin Station. The topography is the low-slung and grassy cattle country with great, open views to the north of the Bearspaw Mountains, to the east, Square and Round buttes, and to the west the high peaks of the Highwoods --- Baldy, Arrow, North, East peaks.  Last year we hiked from this same ranger station up Prospect Peak.  The area is covered with laccolith outcroppings that in spots form walls of volcanic debris.  The cottonwood and aspen bottoms were in full color.  We gained over 2,200 feet over more than 7 miles, returning from the ridgeline down the Shonkin trail.

For a map and other photos, CLICK HERE

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