Expansive View of Mountains and Valley

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Getting to this view takes some determination; but unlike some of my other hikes, the effort involved is not exclusively physical. I'd say the hardest part of this Groundhog Stock Trail (located in the San Juan National forest, on Lizard Head Pass) is getting your car down the incredibly primitive road that leads up to the trailhead. Ha, I say "car," but who am I kidding, you're definitely going to need a Jeep or truck or SUV with high clearance and 4-Wheel drive.

The bright side is, once you get there, it is an easy, pleasant, and very picturesque hike from start to finish. I did with my 70+ year old mother, and the only real thing she bitched about was how very, very, long the hike ended up being. All things included (like getting there in your vehicle), it is a full day affair, but don't listen to my mom, bring lots of food and water (and maybe liquor if you drink), and you'll be fine.

We hiked this long after I had hiked the INCA TRAIL to Machu Picchu in Peru, but well before I attempted EVEREST BASE CAMP in Nepal, so my definition of what qualifies as "a long hike" is constantly changing.

"Long" is relative.



Now, after going out to film the GORILLAS IN THE MISTY MOUNTAINS OF UGANDA, also relative is what I consider to be a harrowing car ride!!!