Trip Report: Mountain View Crest
Wildflowers along the Lime Mesa Trail, photo by Larry Gross
Despite having worked together for a little over a year, this was the first time Jill and I had ever gone on a hike. We invited our significant others and headed up Missionary Ridge Road outside of Durango, CO. It’s a long, bouncing ride (over an hour) to the Lime Mesa Trailhead where the hike to Mountain View Crest begins.
Mountain View Crest is reached via a scenic, yet exposed hike along an upfold. It climbs gradually, gaining 1,500 ft. in 3.5-4 miles. The walking was itself was relatively easy, on a nice, even trail, but as we neared 12,000 ft. we began to feel the altitude! Jill’s husband Larry is an avid photographer and he stopped to take some incredible photos along the way. The wildflowers are astounding this year!
Hiking up Mountain View Crest, photo by Larry Gross
After 2.5 hours we made the final, surprising push to the top of the crest. Suddenly a view of some of our mountains’ highest peaks appeared: Pigeon, Turret, and Eolus. Between the view and the altitude, Mountain View Crest is breathtaking! We ducked below the crest and out of the wind for a quick lunch from our local bakery Bread.
Below us, we watched tiny campers and fishers ambling around Ruby Lake, a supposedly excellent backcountry fishing spot. Later, we walked west along the crest, admiring the views and a crisp breeze. If you ever get a chance to take this trail, it is a truly unique hike in the area. You spend very little time below treeline and the majority of your hike will be through alpine tundra and wildflowers.
Jill and Margaret enjoying the view from Mountain View Crest, photo by Larry Gross
Check out this alternate approach by local writer and hiker Debra Van Winegarden. We used her trip report in The Durango Herald as our guide for the much of the trip.