02 July 2015

Uncompahgre: Middle Fork Cimarron River

Uncompahgre National Forest

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6

(Day 6 of 6) Today will mostly be road walking to get back to my parking at the trailhead on the East Fork. It is sort of like a small payment for a great hike, and may not be all that "expensive" anyway, since the area is so nice. I think I am within a mile of the trailhead, but did not notice the trail up Porphyry Basin, which might have been an excellent spot to camp, yesterday. That would put me quite a bit further up the trail than I think.

Middle Fork Cimarron River
Down by the Middle Fork Cimarron River and down in the trees.

wilderness boundary along the river
The wilderness boundary follows the river along here and so signs dot it in the middle to say so.

Packed up again, I wander down the easy trail. A short way down the trail, there is the wilderness sign and not much further is the trailhead. I missed the Porphyry Basin.

sign and register
The end of trail for me.

amazing rock wall
One rock wall with some interesting structure.

The trailhead has extensive parking, but little in use. Heading down the road, there are a few campers but few movers. The map shows a trail marked Waterfall Trail along the way, so at an unmarked spur with plenty of parking and evidence of recent use in the dirt, I break off to see what might be up there. The trail is clearly ridden by motorcycles until a rather solid bit of tree fall. From here, all must walk the short distance to a nice waterfall.

in the spray of the waterfall
Taking in the waterfall from close up.

bottle brush of white
One of the flowers along the trail.

middle fork road
Back to the road along the Middle Fork.

The waterfall was a nice diversion, but after it is back to road walking. Further down, there is a campground which seems full of people starting to move about and pack up. A short excursion through it leads to wondering how the last vehicle, an RV with at least 80 feet, got itself down there through some very large pot holes, and if it is even possible to get it back out. People really can provide all new wonders.

line of rocks above the canyon
There are still more peaks to be seen.

Coming to the main road, there is another very popular camping area that is full of people set up to do so. The rocks to my right drop away and the East Fork is there. It is nice to have a bridge over the river even if it does look somewhat possible to cross. I would be done had I thought I could get through the higher elevations, but I still have the short road walk up the East Fork.

East Fork rocks
Rocks along the East Fork.

ridge between the East and Middle Fork
Looking up both the East Fork and Middle Fork Cimarron River.

It takes very little time to finish the road hike. These miles were much faster than the ones yesterday. What a difference an obvious trail without any snow can make. And I would say the "payment" for looping to the second trailhead was not bad at all, certainly worth it.

rock spires
One last look at the rocks that reign over the canyon.

©2015 Valerie Norton
Posted 17 Aug 2015

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