28-Aug-2014 -- I was on a trip to visit my daughters over Parent’s Weekend and decided to leave a day early to visit this confluence.
I had called the Tercio Ranch several months earlier in the year wanting to visit over a weekend. I had a pleasant conversation with Charlie Womack who let me know that a weekend visit would not be possible and to try back later in the year. Not wanting to be a burden I said I would call again in August. When I did, the ranch was getting busy for hunting season and there was a good chance that they might not be able to accommodate my request. I drove up and spent the night in Trinidad and on Thursday morning I called again. It was possible but only if the visit would be quick since the ranch was getting ready for hunting season and I would have to be accompanied by one of the ranch hands from the Ranch to the confluence.
I met Mr. Womack at the Tercio Ranch and told him of my goal for the day. I was introduced to Carlos Large who would be my guide and accompany me. He hopped in my Tahoe and off we went up a beautiful valley and a fairly well maintained dirt road until we were on top of a ridge above and east of the confluence. We stopped just over 100 meters south and about 150 feet vertically from the confluence. It would have been possible to score from the top of the hill just slightly off the road but what would be the fun in that? The top of the ridge was mostly clear with a lot of downed trees from the fire in 2002. We hiked down the very steep slope with a mixture of fresh growth and burned trees that we needed to hold on to for support at times as we descended along a serpentine path to the confluence.
At the confluence, we were in a dense stand of young aspen trees and previously burned conifers. The view to the north and up the valley was outstanding if not for the dense trees. The steep slope can be seen in the pictures at the confluence. Additional pictures were taken at the top of the hill and we started back continuing west along the road that we had come up. This way back was longer but Carlos said we would likely see a bunch of elk and sure enough we saw two large groups on our way back.
We made it back to the ranch just under an hour after leaving and I dropped Carlos off and thanked Mr. Womack for the permission and opportunity to visit this point while they were busy setting up for hunting season.
Total round trip time from the intersection of Highway 12 and CR-13 at Stonewall was 1:30 with 50 km driving. The round trip hike was 20 minutes and 427 meters. About 15 minutes of the total was spent at the Tercio Ranch prior to and after the trip.
What an incredibly scenic valley and great confluence adventure!