Debra Van Winegarden

Position: Special to The Herald

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

Cumberland Mountain climb captivates

Cumberland Mountain is an accessible and friendly mountain and is a wonderful walk for hikers of all abilities – including out-of-town visitors. Located west of Durango in the La Plata Mountains,...

DATE: July 7, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Thundering waters of Cascade Creek’s falls

Mad waters thunder down with intimidating ferocity through the forest, the adventurous river a headlong torrent plunging over hydraulic jumps. The explosive and talkative turbulence is an...

DATE: June 16, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Carbon Mountain: Neighborhood prominence

Carbon Mountain is one of Durango’s neighborhood prominences, but it is rarely visited. Located just west of the Animas River and southwest of Bodo Industrial Park, the area features the Purple...

DATE: May 19, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Missionary Ridge traverse: Durango’s training ground

The Missionary Ridge trail system is a superb training ground close to town. There are multiple trailheads that offer a selection of generally snow-free, three-season hikes in the low country. In...

DATE: April 28, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

New Mexico’s Bisti Badlands a necropolis of hoodoos and ziggurats

Bisti Badlands is a necropolis of sandstone temples and ziggurats and a maze of passageways painted with striated tinctures. It is arguably the finest community of badlands in the San Juan Basin of...

DATE: April 14, 2016 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

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