the Degree Confluence Project

United States : Colorado

6.7 miles (10.9 km) SSW of Granby, Grand, CO, USA
Approx. altitude: 2783 m (9130 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 40°S 74°E

Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View of the confluence point #3: View to the west from the confluence #4: Nearby rock outcropping #5: Fraser River Valley, from Blue Ridge, looking northeast

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  40°N 106°W (visit #1)  

#1: View to the south from the confluence

(visited by Keith Gawlik)

07-Oct-2000 -- This is a confluence I have wanted to go to for a long time. I finally made it on Saturday, October 7, 2000. The confluence is in the Arapaho National Forest, about 40 miles west of Boulder across the continental divide.

I left the Denver area going west on I-70 in overcast and drizzle. I got off at Highway 40 and went over Berthoud Pass, where the weather cleared up. I continued on past Fraser and took a dirt road shortcut over to Hot Sulphur Springs. Just south of there, I picked up Forest Road 133, and stopped after a few miles, due west of the confluence. It was a beautiful day, sunny and about 60 F.

The GPS said I was 1.3 miles away from the confluence, but a ridge, called Blue Ridge, was between me and it. There were no trails around, so I started bushwhacking up the slope through aspen groves, low bushes, and fallen trees. The incline averaged about 45 degrees. After about 45 minutes of this, I was getting pretty tired, and began to stop often to catch my breath and give my thighs a rest. I saw a sage grouse fly up into a nearby tree at one of these breaks and watched it for a while through binoculars. There were also mountain bluebirds and Clark's Nutcrackers around.

I eventually made it to the top of the ridge. The elevation was around 10,000 ft. Beyond lay the Fraser River Valley, with the town of Granby, Lake Granby, and the southern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the pictures is taken from the ridge and shows the town in the distance, to the left of the middle of the picture, with the lake in the background. The Colorado River starts at Lake Granby.

I got a bearing on the confluence and started bushwhacking generally downhill in that direction. Some of the terrain was clearcut, the rest was fairly intact forest. A couple of logging roads were around, and I would follow them for a short distance before getting back to the direction I needed to go. I finally came upon the confluence, which was on a slope in a heavily wooded area. It took me about 2 hours to get there. The confluence elevation was about 9,200 ft.

I found that the confluence point was right at the roots of a fallen tree. In one of the pictures are shown the tree roots, with the rest of the tree pointing down the slope and to the right. A shadow is going right across the roots, so they're a little difficult to see. I lounged around the confluence a while, ate a sandwich, and let the GPS average.

I headed back after half an hour and took a slightly different route up the ridge and over it. I picked up a walking stick and used it to keep me from completely losing my footing on the slope. The round trip distance was a little over 3 miles, and the total trip time was 4 hours. While this was the most difficult confluence trip I've made, it was a very scenic and enjoyable hike on a great day.

 All pictures
#1: View to the south from the confluence
#2: View of the confluence point
#3: View to the west from the confluence
#4: Nearby rock outcropping
#5: Fraser River Valley, from Blue Ridge, looking northeast
ALL: All pictures on one page