Debra Van Winegarden

Position: Special to The Herald

The great west block traverse of the La Plata Mountains

Located at the southern end of the great western block of the La Plata Mountains exists an extraordinary and sustained ridgeline traverse. Summit four named peaks and three prominences while taking...

DATE: June 8, 2018 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

A new route to an old favorite, from Turtle Lake to Animas Overlook

One of the great pleasures in hiking is finding new routes to old favorite areas. Last December, a friend turned me on to a trail that utilizes a thin swath of BLM property to connect La Plata...

DATE: May 11, 2018 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Discover Neon Canyon and Golden Cathedral in the Utah desert

Imagine descending a massive sandstone slab, fording a mighty tributary of the Colorado River, walking up a canyon whose perpendicular walls glisten and entering the Golden Cathedral, a deep...

DATE: March 30, 2018 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Chaco World Heritage: Two backcountry hikes visit ruins and rock art

In a remote canyon in northwestern New Mexico, at the center of the San Juan Basin, lies the remains of a complex agrarian society. Transitioning from a loose aggregation of Basketmaker...

DATE: Feb. 16, 2018 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

A roundup of hiking Durango’s Raider Ridge

On snowless, sunny winter days, local trails provide consolation. Raider Ridge runs the length of Durango from southwest to northeast. It has a sharp western escarpment and slopes gently into Horse...

DATE: Jan. 12, 2018 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Animas City Mountain’s full circle hike

Our in-town mountain is sporting a couple of new perimeter trails that have hikers and mountain bikers gushing with enthusiasm. Everything about the trail experience is big and enjoyable. Weave...

DATE: Nov. 17, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

A tour of Capitol Reef’s Grand Wash in Utah

Capitol Reef National Park protects and encloses the 100 mile-long Waterpocket Fold, a massive warping of the earth’s crust. The giant buckle is a sleeping rainbow of stacked sedimentary strata....

DATE: Oct. 13, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Circle Engineer Mountain for autumn splendor

Every autumn, I have to spend at least one full day drenched in color. I hike in late September when the aspen are putting out peak wattage, the forest floor glows and the sky is clear all day. A...

DATE: Sept. 15, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Redcloud, Sunshine attractive Colorado fourteeners, but Sundog scramble deserves its due

T here must be something extra special, even magical about Colorado’s 54 peaks above 14,000 feet. They sure do command the attention of admiring throngs. Two of the popular giants are relatively...

DATE: Aug. 25, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Historic Highline to the Shark’s Tooth

The beautifully engineered Sharkstooth Trail is a section of the Historic Highline Loop. It was designated a National Recreation Trail in 1979 because of its extraordinary scenic value. Traverse...

DATE: Aug. 4, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Endlich span: Sheridan Mountain to Crevasse

Walk on top of the world across gently rolling and expansive tundra. Sheridan Mountain resides at the northern end of Endlich Mesa which straddles the Florida River and Vallecito Creek drainages....

DATE: July 21, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Helmet Peak: La Plata Mountains outlier

After a typical winter and by mid-June, the La Plata Mountains are free of snow, lupine are going crazy, snow buttercups are glossy yellow and columbine are just about ready to dominate. Not yet...

DATE: June 23, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

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