Scenic Summer Highlight: Scarp Ridge & Oh-Be-Joyful!

Self Portrait with Yellow Flowers, Overlooking the Oh-Be-Joyful Valley

Self Portrait with Yellow Flowers, Overlooking the Oh-Be-Joyful Valley

I get a lot of emails from people asking for help on planning their trips. I’m always happy to make a few suggestions, but the ironic thing is, I spend zero time actually planning my own trips. I just follow the scenic routes and stop when I see something interesting. When exploring a new location my idea of recognisance is to buy a good hiking map of the area and ask a local or two for trail tips.

My map collection so far from this summer.

My map collection so far from this summer.

Spending a week up on Kebler Pass, near Crested Butte, Colorado, I covered a lot of ground just by sitting down with my Latitude 40 map and picking out a few trails: the Kebler Wagon Trail, Irwin Cemetery, the Dyke Trail, the Dark Canyon/ Irwin Trail loop and Scarp Ridge. All the hikes were fantastic, but the 6-mile loop up to Scarp Ridge, overlooking the Oh-Be-Joyful Valley, was one of the scenic highlights of my summer. The funny thing is, I knew it would be, just based on the topolines on the map. I know a sweet overlook when I see one depicted in wavy, parallel lines!

Heading up the trail to Scarp Ridge

Heading up the trail to Scarp Ridge, overlooking the Ruby Mountains

Shadow Self-Portrait on Scarp Ridge

Shadow Self-Portrait on Scarp Ridge

My dogs just below the summit of Scarp Ridge

My happy dogs just below the summit of Scarp Ridge

Oh Be Joyful D.O.G.

Oh Be Joyful D.O.G.

Platform for a tent pole along Scarp Ridge. This area is used by sheep herders to graze their flocks, though I'm not sure why you'd want to camp right on this windy ridge!

Platform for a tent pole and stakes along Scarp Ridge. This area is still used by sheep herders to graze their flocks, though I’m not sure why you’d want to camp right on this windy ridge!

Crested Butte bills itself as the "Wildflower Capitol of Colorado"

Crested Butte bills itself as the “Wildflower Capitol of Colorado”

Windblown trees along Scarp Ridge

Windblown trees along Scarp Ridge, straight out of Dr. Seuss!

The trail leaves from the Irwin Lake Lodge, now closed. I haven't been able to find much information about this place online.

The trail leaves from the Irwin Lake Lodge, now closed. I haven’t been able to find much information about this place online… looks awesome!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in Big Sky, Montana. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
This entry was posted in Bowie & D.O.G., Hiking!, Photography, Road tripping!, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Vagabonding 101 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Scenic Summer Highlight: Scarp Ridge & Oh-Be-Joyful!

  1. Mary… Looks like a great hike. Tremendous view up there on the overlook! Best to you, Carol

  2. Life can be so beautiful when you take the time to live it

  3. Kane Beatz says:

    Reblogged this on Beatz kane Blog.

  4. We’re on the same page I think. I took a 2 month trip and people asked what my itinerary was. My what?? I started backpacking and hiking by looking at a map and saying I want to go there. And so on and so on. Seems to work just fine 🙂 Nice pics of a beautiful place!

  5. Wow what stunning views, the light and colour is really stunning. The dogs looked like they love the hike too.
    X

  6. Caroline Edmiston says:

    A quick search finds this: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-hotel-363423-irwin_lodge-i?ajax=1&action=mobilereviews#r1
    It says it was closed in 2005 and a remodel attempted in 2006, but failed. Used to be a hot spot with horseback riding and a bar.

  7. lupeadesigns says:

    Gorgeous scenary!

  8. Double wow on the awesome phtos!

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