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  1. #1
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    Weminuche Wilderness Area

    So I am thinking of taking my son (13) and three horses into the Weminuche Wilderness Area for a 4-5 nights this Summer. Do a little backcountry camping and fishing... This is our first trip into this area and I was wondering if anyone has a suggestion or two on a trailhead. LimeMesa, Transfer Park or Endlich Mesa are kind of what I am targeting but could change if someone has a better idea... I was thinking the City Reservoir, Florida River, West Virginia Gulch areas should get us into some pretty country and we could always do a day trip up to the edge of Chicago Basin...

    We are coming from Northern AZ and would spend a night at the trailhead before departing... Not sure if we can get a stock trailer to the Lime Mesa TH which looks like the shortest way into where I think we want to go... I have a call into the Forest Service...

    Any thoughts and or experience is really appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Anywhere in the Weminuche is beautiful, but it is popular -especially Chicago Basin (you have to pack your poop out of CB, if that gives you an idea), but there is a good reason why it's so popular.

    I'm not sure about the conditions of driving to Lime Mesa TH. FYI: I'd wait until July. There is a lot of snow in the high country -folks are still Backcountry skiing in Chicago Basis and Silverton and most of the Animas range had 4-6 inches of snow yesterday.


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  3. #3
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    We are planning for a late June early July trip... We would go when conditions permit and snow melt is such that the fishing is better.

    With regards to CB, we might look down into it from one of the ridges or passes- The idea is to get a little off the beaten path, fish, and maybe recon a bit for elk season. Just a few days of quality time with my son. Appreciate your feedback. If you hear anything on Lime Mesa (or where most back country horse trips depart) I would appreciate learning... Thank you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member orionthehunter1's Avatar
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    I wouldn't take a stock trailer up to the endlich mesa trailhead. That road is 10 miles and it takes over an hour in a truck just to give you an ideal of how rough it is. The easiest way into the Virginia gulches would be from the missionary ridge road

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by orionthehunter1 View Post
    I wouldn't take a stock trailer up to the endlich mesa trailhead. That road is 10 miles and it takes over an hour in a truck just to give you an ideal of how rough it is. The easiest way into the Virginia gulches would be from the missionary ridge road
    Orion- Thank you

    So I just hung up with the forest service and the outfitters all park and ride in from Transfer Park. It would be shorter to park and go in from Lime Mesa for sure. The gentleman I spoke with at the forest service indicated I would need to park about 2 miles before the trail head if we went in from Missionary Ridge/Henderson Lake Road and just ride up the road to the Lime Mesa TH.

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  7. #6
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    Send me a pm, I live here and work for the forest service conducting trails maintenance. I'm very familiar with these trails.

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    Senior Member orionthehunter1's Avatar
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    If they were telling you to catch the burnt timber trail from the transfer park parking area you would be better off going up missionary ridge and parking at mile marker 3 of the burnt timber road. That way you are an hours ride ahead from where you start at Transfer park.

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    If you want to fish, I'd suggest going in on the pine river trail head. It will be easier on you and your horses as you'll be starting out at a lower elevation there than you would be going up missionary ridge. I'm also not sure you'll do much fishing going up any of the previously mentioned trails. There's a corral and hitching post for your horses at the pine river trail head as well.

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    Id push your dates back even further if your looking to catch some fish. Ive gone out to the high country as early as July 4th and found the fish to be slow and sluggish, barely fast enough to eat a dry fly moving in the slow currents. With this years snowpack still growing and well above average the high country fishing probably wont be great until late July.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by orionthehunter1 View Post
    If they were telling you to catch the burnt timber trail from the transfer park parking area you would be better off going up missionary ridge and parking at mile marker 3 of the burnt timber road. That way you are an hours ride ahead from where you start at Transfer park.
    Yes-
    The USFS suggested Transfer Park. I am looking at the map and your suggestion makes perfect sense! Thank you! On the map it calls the area where Burnt Timber Road dead ends into trail 676 Horse Park. Maybe an Omen...

  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinspicher View Post
    If you want to fish, I'd suggest going in on the pine river trail head. It will be easier on you and your horses as you'll be starting out at a lower elevation there than you would be going up missionary ridge. I'm also not sure you'll do much fishing going up any of the previously mentioned trails. There's a corral and hitching post for your horses at the pine river trail head as well.
    Justin-
    Thank you! That is probably a great suggestion but just too many trail miles to where we want to camp...

  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by durangobrad View Post
    Id push your dates back even further if your looking to catch some fish. Ive gone out to the high country as early as July 4th and found the fish to be slow and sluggish, barely fast enough to eat a dry fly moving in the slow currents. With this years snowpack still growing and well above average the high country fishing probably wont be great until late July.
    Brad- For sure a concern but late June is really our only availability. The kids have short Summer breaks these days... They start back at school the first week in August. We might try and sneak a second trip in late July but it will be tough with already scheduled trips... And then we start hunting in August...

  16. #13
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    So, how was it?

  17. #14
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    We had folks up in the wilderness last week, dry and dusty. Enjoy your trip.

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    Justin was that the place we packed at?

  20. #16
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    Great trip guys- weather was perfect and the fishing was good. Horses were well behaved- all and all a very good trip. Our plan is to make this an annual trip- especially now that we have a better idea regarding the lay of the land. Can't thank Justin enough for his help. It really made the trip a breeze!

    This was our second trip through Durango and I have to say I love the area more each time we visit. Starting to look at a little real estate and plan to get back up there later this Summer to spend a few days in town looking around...

    All our fishing was Tenkara and I purchased a new 3 weight Sage and Hatch real on our way through town which I never even got out- so of course I need to head back up and try the new set-up...

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