San Juan Mountains – Cinnamon Pass – Backcountry Skiing (June 12, 2005)

Post by blogger | June 12, 2005      

San Juans backcountry skiing

Had a nice morning of backcountry skiing this past Friday, on Cinnamon Pass in Colorado’s stupendous San Juan Mountains. Snow coverage in the ‘Juans is huge — hundreds of the higher lines are still in, though the snow surface is becoming a bit "moon scaped" with moderate sun cupping and runnels. We camped near Lake City and delivered the boy to Camp Redcloud for a month of rock climbing, back packing, and service projects with their excellent "TNT" work/play program.

Four wheeling adventure?
Caveat: If you wheel the high passes out of Lake City, you’ll need an SUV or 4×4 truck. More, the roads are covered with incredibly sharp rock shards. Our stock Tacoma tissue thin street tires got a flat last year, and the same thing happened this year ( this time the tire was ruined)!

As always, it was fun to visit Lake City, Colorado and see the town waking up for a summer of mountain recreation. Be your taste fourteener climbing or four-wheeling, Lake City has it all. The town’s positive attitudes and recreation friendly atmosphere remind us of Moab, Utah.

For backcountry skiers, the best thing about the Lake City area is that Hinsdale County opens two major alpine passes to automobile traffic while the spring snowpack is still strong and sweet. Dozer drivers spend days in May plowing both Cinnamon and Engineer pass, providing incredible access to some of Colorado’s most stupendous terrain on 14,000 foot giants such as Wetterhorn and Handies Peaks. Highly recommended.

Driving on the high passes out of Lake City is somewhat moderate, though they’re still what you’d call "four wheel drive" roads. Beware what type of tire you have, however, as those with less beef may be prone to damage on the area’s sharp rocks. Local auto repair shops will tell you the same thing, as they point to large piles of damaged tires waiting for repair (or the dump trailer). This summer we’ll ll be upgrading our Tacoma TAV tires to something beefy but street friendly. Tire shopping, oh yeah, every guy’s dream!


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version