July 25, 2015
Geology of Music Pass and
Upper Sand Creek Basin
Trip leader: Andrew Valdez, NPS Geologist
Sand Creek flows along the northern margin of Great Sand Dunes and is one of the more remote and scenic parts of the San Luis Valley. The headwaters of Sand Creek are so remote that one must leave the San Luis Valley to access it. It is a highly glaciated terrain with horns, cirques, and u-shaped valleys that is managed by the National Park Service (NPS). Join NPS geologist Andrew Valdez for a hike over Music Pass into the upper Sand Creek drainage as he talks about the area's geology and describes NPS projects occurring in the area, including native fish restoration and climate change monitoring.
The cost of this trip will be $10 for currently registered CFI members, $30 for non-members, and $5 for students. Preregistration is required. Please follow the registration link below.
This will be a full day field trip that will meet at the Blanca-Fort Garland Community Center parking lot. After a short orientation and introduction the group will leave Fort Garland and drive east to the summit of La Veta Pass, then head north on Pass Creek Road to Colorado Hwy 69. Near Westcliffe the group will turn west to Music Pass. A 4WD vehicle will be needed to reach the end of the Music Pass Road, so bring one if you have one and there should be opportunities to carpool if you don't.
This field trip involves a moderately strenuous hike that will end at Lower Sand Creek Lake. It is about a 5 mile round trip hike. The first mile hiking in requires a 500 foot elevation gain. The second mile has an 800' elevation loss. The last half mile has a 300 foot elevation gain. The return hike follows the same path. So please be a strong hiker if you decide to sign up for this field trip. The scenery is amazing!
download a Field Trip Information Sheet
We hope you can join us.