Views near Peekaboo Spring in the Needles District

A Change of Plans

Last autumn I made plans to return to Salt Creek Canyon, after visiting a few times in 2022. My adventures so far were limited to the lower end of the canyon, whose starting point is high on the northern flanks of the Abajo Mountains. I had completed a few out-and-back trips, going as far as Upper Jump – a waterfall situated at about the halfway point of full trail.

My goal this time was to see a rock formation called Angel Arch, and so I had reserved a few nights near this halfway point; close enough to make it to the arch during a day hike. Since I had always begun at Cathedral Butte in the past, my itinerary for this trip also had me starting here.

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The iconic Crystal Mill, standing since 1892

Since moving back to Colorado after my time as a nomad, I have prioritized exploring places I didn’t get around to the first time I lived here. One of these areas is the West Elk Mountains around Marble and Crystal, Colorado, and in early July I decided to visit a friend who lives in the range – down near Carbondale, Colorado. This trip reminded me that Colorado has so much to offer, and that even after five or six cumulative years in the state, I can still be surprised by new experiences and adventures.

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