29-Jun-2013 -- This would be the second in a westward line of confluences along 40N. We were coming from 40N 106W and turned off CO 131 at Yampa onto County Road 7 which is a very well maintained road into the Routt National Forest and NF 900 until we turned south onto NF 910 here.
A sign at the intersection said that NF 910 was subject to seasonal closure from Dec 16 - June 14. It was fairly well maintained and graded until just beyond the Gardner Park Reservoir where we turned south on the Ute Trail (NF 915) here.
The road gradually became narrower and more rutted as we continued south. We passed the turnoff to Harper Reservoir and continued with even more deteriorating and rutted conditions until we reached a fork in the road about 1500 meters away from the confluence here.
My wife and I would hike the rest of the way. We were on a high plateau covered with thousands of colorful wildflowers looking south towards the confluence. There was a sign just a bit further south that prohibited motor vehicle travel. We started down a southerly facing slope towards a beaver dam and the best path looked to be away from the dam to the west. We crossed on a log and continued amongst the wildflowers towards the point. We found the trail we had planned to take all along as it passed through a gate in a barbed wire fence. A little bit further south and off the trail again we entered a treed area full of Aspen and conifers. It is interesting to note the changes in appearance in June compared to previous (and subsequent) visits in the months of September and November – the trees and groundcover are considerably different!
The point itself was in the middle of a bunch of Aspen trees on top of some fallen logs that were in a V shape. There was a large open meadow to the south. Pictures were taken from the confluence and in the meadow. I captured GPS data for post processing and also sent a Spot message announcing our successful visit for everybody that was monitoring our progress.
On the way back, we managed to stay mostly on the trail. The mountain wildflowers at almost 10,000 feet were amazing! We had some sandwiches before we got going back down the hill. There were several groups of people camping at both reservoirs.
Post processing of the GPS data reveals that the spot on the log where my Trimble recorded positions was 4.3 meters northeast of the actual confluence with a horizontal precision of 3.0 meters.
Total round trip time from Yampa was about 4.5 hours with about 30 minutes for a picnic when our hike was complete. It was 1 hour and 22.1 km (while pulling a trailer) from Yampa to where we parked. A high clearance vehicle without a trailer would make much better time. The hike itself was 1:42 hours roundtrip and 3.8 km.
Onward to 40N 108W!