Debra Van Winegarden

Position: Special to The Herald

Twin Buttes, singular experience

Driving into Durango from points west, the Twin Buttes are landmarks that signal arrival home. While the Twin Buttes Development is ramping up, the buttes and surrounding trails remain open to the...

DATE: May 21, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Southern Utah’s Cobra Arch a true snake charmer

Cobra Arch is a venomous stone snake, striations down the length of its body, eyes keeping watch from its elegant, hooded head. The statuesque span of Navajo Sandstone frames a Utah-blue skylight...

DATE: April 21, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Honing the wild edge: Pautsky Point and Crader Ridge

Begin on familiar in-town trails and discover two treasures in Durango’s undomesticated backyard. Pautsky Point, a sweet prize for a relatively small effort, is suitable for families and...

DATE: April 1, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Sabino Canyon, Sonoran waterscape

For a warm and sunny spring break, join a deep field of Tucson residents launching into the Sonoran at the edge of their desert city. Enjoy the communal experience at Sabino Canyon Recreation Area...

DATE: Feb. 23, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

The Inselberg cyclonic sand pit

The largest cylindrical sandstone weathering pit on Earth, unknown but to a few, lies within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Geologists informally refer to this singular landform...

DATE: Jan. 26, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Death Valley: Land of eternal thirst

The beauty of the austere, scorched landscape of Death Valley is expressed in sparsity. Average annual precipitation on the floor of Death Valley is 1.86 inches. In July, the mean maximum...

DATE: Jan. 5, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Grand Canyon’s phantom corridors

Below earthline lies an entire world. The Grand Canyon is the deepest erosion furrow on the surface of our planet. Within the labyrinthine chasm, mountains invert and declivities deepen while...

DATE: Dec. 1, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Stone Mountain, watery way

Within a day’s drive of Durango is a solitary dome of sunny, colorful sandstone: Yellow Rock. Neo-acrylic splashes, swirls and snakes of color surpass the normal confines of nature. Slickrock...

DATE: Nov. 3, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Little Cone a sweet, unknown hike near Telluride

Some of the finest jewels in the natural world are innocently overlooked. This is surely true of Little Cone. While it is located only 15 miles west of Telluride, its small stature of 11,981 feet...

DATE: Sept. 29, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Golden Horn a siren spire above Ice Lake Basin

Balance atop the spire of Golden Horn, a peak as alluring as its name. When first seen from Lower Ice Lake Basin, the earth pillar looks foreboding, impossible. It is not. Strong, moderately...

DATE: Sept. 15, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Handies Peak: The Hardrock high point

Encompassing 637 summits above 13,000 feet, 53 of them fourteeners, Colorado is the highest state in America. The summit of Handies Peak, ranked 40th at 14,048 feet, is the high-point of the...

DATE: Aug. 25, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

The towers of Lavender Peak

Venture to the bulky magnificence of Mount Moss and the mythical towers of Lavender Peak. From the west tower, my favorite prominence in the La Plata Mountains, there are supreme views of Hesperus...

DATE: July 28, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

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