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Trail Tested #2 – Red Mountain

We hit the back trails of Red Mountain on an assortment of MSA Offroad Wheels and EFX Tires for the ultimate vacation in Colorado. Family is the core of any great and memorable trip and the foundation of our company.  Without the support of all of our friends, family and employees, EFX Tires would simply not be here.  To all of you who put family first and recognize the importance of a shared experience, ENJOY!  MSA Wheels and EFX Tires are proudly manufactured by Wheel Pros and part of our high performance powersports collection. Check out the full collection of our Trail tested Video Series as well as other great product videos on our Vimeo page: https://vimeo.com/wheelprospowersports

 

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We set out to for the ultimate Trail Tested location and decided Red Mountain in Colorado would be the perfect setting. Red Mountain is a set of three peaks in the San Juan Mountains of western Colorado in the United States, about 5 miles south of Ouray. The mountains get their name from the reddish iron ore rocks that cover the surface. Several other peaks in the San Juan Mountains likewise have prominent reddish coloration from iron ore and are also called “Red Mountain”.

Nearby Red Mountain Pass is named after Red Mountain, and the ghost town mining camp of Red Mountain Town is located at the foot of the Red Mountains.

The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado, and is the largest mountain range in Colorado by area. The area is highly mineralized (the Colorado Mineral Belt) and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride. Large scale mining has ended in the region, although independent prospectors still work claims throughout the range. The last large scale mines were the Sunnyside Mine near Silverton, which operated until late in the 20th century and the Idarado Mine on Red Mountain Pass that closed down in the 1970s. Famous old San Juan mines include the Camp Bird and Smuggler Union mines, both located between Telluride and Ouray.

The Summitville mine was the scene of a major environmental disaster in the 1990s when the liner of a cyanide-laced tailing pond began leaking heavily. Summitville is in the Summitville caldera, one of many extinct volcanoes making up the San Juan volcanic field. One, La Garita Caldera, is 35 miles (56 km) in diameter. Large beds of lava, some extending under the floor of the San Luis Valley, are characteristic of the eastern slope of the San Juans.

Tourism is now a major part of the regional economy, with the narrow gauge railway between Durango and Silverton being an attraction in the summer. Jeeping is popular on the old trails which linked the historic mining camps, including the notorious Black Bear Road. Visiting old ghost towns is popular, as is wilderness trekking and mountain climbing. Many of the old mining camps are now popular sites of summer homes. Though the San Juans are extremely steep and receive a lot of snow, so far only Telluride has made the transition to a major ski resort. Purgatory Resort, once known as Durango Mountain Resort, is a small ski area 26 miles north of Durango. There is also skiing on Wolf Creek Pass at the Wolf Creek ski area. Recently Silverton Mountain ski area has begun operation near Silverton.

The Rio Grande drains the east side of the range. The other side of the San Juans, the western slope of the continental divide, is drained by tributaries of the San Juan, Dolores and Gunnison rivers, which all flow into the Colorado River.

The San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests cover a large portion of the San Juan Mountains.

The San Juan Mountains are also distinctive for their high altitude plateus and peaks. As a result, facilities in the towns and cities of the region are among the highest in the nation. Telluride Airport at an elevation of 9,070 feet, is the highest in the United States with regularly scheduled commercial service.

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