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Re: Great Sand Dunes Reconnection

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:47 am
by Don
Bob/Ed/James-
Growing up in the West, and mostly in northern California, regional lore had it that the deepest valley (there is a book with that as part of the name...) was the Owen River Valley. Consulting the Wikipedia, I got the following numbers:

Owens Valley is the arid valley of the Owens River in eastern California in the United States, to the east of the Sierra Nevada and west of the White Mountains and Inyo Mountains. The mountain peaks on either side (including Mount Whitney) reach above 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in elevation, while the floor of the Owens Valley is at 4,000 feet (1,200 m), making the valley one of the deepest in the United States.[2]

I happen to have several images looking west from the White Mountains down to Bishop, and up to the Sierra Nevadas (taken enroute to Bristlecone Forest in October of 2009), which I've attached below, if all went right.
From 9,000' in White Mountains looking across Bishop at 4K to Sierra Nevadas at 13K
From 9,000' in White Mountains looking across Bishop at 4K to Sierra Nevadas at 13K
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Re: Great Sand Dunes Reconnection

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:01 am
by Don
Bob/Ed/James-
I meant to add that from the valley perspective, a conservative beginning of the valley would start at Owen Dry Lake (Los Angeles dried it almost a century ago), and proceed along Hiway 395 for about 125 miles before encountering the headwaters of Owen Creek. The Sierra Nevadas in the west and the Inyo and White Mtn's in the east average about 50 miles apart...
According to Wikipedia's read on San Luis Valley, they both seem to be loaded with superlatives!

Re: Great Sand Dunes Reconnection

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:54 am
by James Parton
Don,

The White Mountains have Bristlecone Pines don't they?

JP

Re: Great Sand Dunes Reconnection

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:50 pm
by dbhguru
Don,

Here is the write-up on the San Luis.

The San Luis Valley is an extensive alpine valley in the United States states of Colorado and New Mexico covering approximately 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2) and sitting at an average elevation of 7,500 feet (2,300 m) above sea level. The valley sits atop the Rio Grande Rift and is drained to the south by the Rio Grande River, which rises in the San Juan Mountains to the west of the valley and flows south into New Mexico. The valley is approximately 122 miles (196 km) long and 74 miles (119 km) wide, extending from the Continental Divide on the northwest rim into New Mexico on the south.

If the valley truly covers 8,000 square miles, it is the size of Massachusetts.

Bob

Re: Great Sand Dunes Reconnection

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:09 pm
by Larry Tucei
Bob, I have not seen the Great Sand Dunes yet, but I have seen White Sands National Monument. Both impressive Dunes. Hows the temperture out that way? 95-98 down south already and summer just began! Good photos, enjoy your posts as always and I'm looking forward to more from your Colorado adventure! Wish I could have come out but, work forced me to have to miss out this time. The Sangres are Awesome! Larry

Re: Great Sand Dunes Reconnection

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:33 pm
by dbhguru
Larry,

It is in the high 80s to low 90s in the day and mid-50s at night. It is dry, so the heat isn't a problem. The sun is strong at 6,500 to 7,000 feet in Durango.

Each Colorado range has its special appeal. The San Juans cover much more territory than the Sangres, but the Sangres are longer, ending in New Mexico. The San Juans have 13 peaks that reach 14,000 feet and the Sangres have 10. Both offer exceptional technical climbing. The San Juans have the extraordinary trees - at least that I've seen.

Bob

Re: Great Sand Dunes Reconnection

Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:02 am
by Marcboston
I have to get out to see the Sangres! It is on my short list of hikes. Are there Rocky Mt Bristlecone pine in this region?