Balabanova All Over

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[Black Canyon of the Gunnison/Aspen, CO, July 25, 2022] The north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is remote and much less visited. It took us 90 minutes to get to it from Montrose. We knew we were in the middle of nowhere when the pavement ended and a well-graded dirt road began. For a lot of the drive around Crawford, the small town just outside the North Rim, we… Read More

[Black Canyon of the Gunnison/Ouray/Silverton, Jul 24, 2022] Black Canyon of the Gunnison protects the gorge the Gunnison river carved into the Precambrian rock surrounding it. It’s named after John Gunnison, who explored the canyon in 1853 while searching for a railroad route through the Rockies. He wrote the first description of the canyon, although it was obviously very well known to the Ute tribe, which was native to the area. We… Read More

[Montrose, CO, July 23, 2022] This trip began with a half marathon we had signed up for just outside Rocky Mountain National Park. There are 3 other national parks in Colorado, so I was really struggling to decide which way to extend this trip. Since I wanted to see some of the classic mountain towns in Colorado, I eventually settled on a clockwise loop via Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Aspen and… Read More

How to Get There Capitol Reef is located in south-central Utah, in the heart of red rock country. If you’re visiting this park on its own (like I did), the closest major airport is Salt Lake City, about 3.5 hrs away. You can also add it to a Zion/Bryce itinerary (Bryce is only 2 hrs away) or an Arches/Canyonlands itinerary (Canyonlands is only 2.5 hrs away). Technically, this is a 3.5 day… Read More

[Capitol Reef National Park, Mar 27, 2022] I had saved a short little trail for the morning of my departure. Chimney Rock Trail is on the west edge of the park right off Hwy 24. It’s just over 3 miles and it has only about 600 ft of elevation gain. Another gorgeous sunrise greeted me as I was leaving the hotel. The trailhead was only 10 minutes from my hotel. Despite the… Read More