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Backpacking to Wheeler Geologic Area
November 11 2017
After probably more than a decade of wanting to, I finally visited the weirdly named Wheeler Geologic Area in a remote area of Colorado. I forget where I heard about it first but it sounded interesting and never forgot about it. I decided to make the trip over the Labor Day weekend. And I even planned to spend an extra day there to maximize my time in the area. Day 1 I would just drive out to the regular trailhead and camp out. That would let me get a relaxed start to the trip. Day 2-3 I would take the backpacking trail to the formations and spend the night there before returning to the trailhead and camping out again. Day 4 I would sleep in and leisurely enjoy the campsite before driving home. The trip was a good one although I must admit it really is a small area of formations with only 1 great spot for photos. It is a surprise to me that it was ever a National Monument. Also surprising were how many people were there. Of course it was a holiday weekend but still it was surprising. Also the 4x4 road that has such an offputting reputation was totally drivable as evidenced by the number of stock pickups at the 4wd trailhead. When I backpack, I like my destination to be somewhere that you can't simply drive to. I also tested out a very minimalist backpacking load using the Blackhawk Stash Pack. That is a 1,554 cubic inch (25.5 liter) pack and certainly the smallest that I have used overnight.