Discovering North America Through the Senses

Blankets made of Milky Way at Slumgullion Pass

February 22, 2023 Ana
Discovering North America Through the Senses
Blankets made of Milky Way at Slumgullion Pass
Show Notes Transcript

A great find for the ones who try to get away from technology and the world. A location for star gazing, nature viewing and peaceful nights. Slumgullion Pass is a gem hidden in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. Come here my story of our stay.
Contact at:

A Blanket made of the Milky way, Slumgullion Campground,


As we began to ascend into the Colorado mountains, we began to see lush green forests all around us. Tugging a 45’ footer made us question whether we would make it or not to the top and then to the bottom. Between this lush green forest, we also saw multiple areas of dead trees. Most of them were due to beetle kill. While later in our trip we found a lot more due to fires.


Slumgullion Pass has an elevation of 11,361 ft above sea level and is in the Southwestern area of Colorado. The area has great views of the San Juan Mountains and the area where we stayed during our trip has been designated as An International Dark Sky Association Designated Park. During our stay the center was getting ready to begin being built Since then the Slumgullion Campground where we stayed has been decommissioned and hosts multiple star viewing nights. 



When we stayed at this location, we had originally planned for a one-night stay. After the first night we decided to make it a three night stay to enjoy the solitude, dark skies, and the wildlife. That first night as the kids went to bed, Joe and I stayed out late to make sure the fire died out. The night sky come to life with the stars as our night light and later the milky way made its way towards us right above, like a blanket covering us for the night. Me, being a romantic at heart looked to my husband for a kiss, only to see his eyes twinkle in the night and a smile of joy in his face. So, I gently blew him a kiss and turned my eyes back to the blanket of stars above our heads. Him being completely oblivious to my kiss and me daydreaming of swimming in the night skies splendor.


The next day, as we awoke and ventured into the world, we noticed a lot of smog around us. The area did not receive any reception and we had to go into the town to find out if there was a fire near us. What we discovered was that the fires in Canada, and California at the time were causing the issues. This limited the visibility from where we were located, but we could always count on beautiful sunsets and a clear sky at night. 


Early mornings usually brought moose and their calves to grace and drink from the multiple lakes that are located here. In the small hills through the mountains came multiple fawns and their mama’s to be taught to graze from the bounty around them. Yearlings began to grow their antlers and travel in small packs. While the mothers were seen in early mornings, most males were seen in the evening in the opposite areas of where we saw the females and babies. 


Wild strawberries grew in the fertile land and the wildflowers attract multiple insects and rodents to the area. From the Police Car Moths to chipmunks, and a variety of butterflies. The Police Car moths are part of the tiger moth family, and often found in the San Juan mountains which was the area where we stayed. They were not bothered by us and even landed on the kids nose and faces. Making them giggle with anxiety and happiness to be chosen for such a moment. As the laughter of our children filled our ears a chipmunk decided to come and commandeer a strawberry or two that the kids had gathered for a snack. Now a meal for a very gentle rodent that watched us with the same curiosity as we had for it. Close inspection of the rocks around us, we found a molting grasshopper whose colors blended so well with the rocks it could of easily been dismissed. 


As the sun went down, we watched the smog of the fires roll in and the mountains and sun disappear behind it. So, we would grab our blankets for the chilly night ahead, turn off all the lights and wait for the stars to come upon us again and blanket our dreams for the night. Days of nature observation went to fast, and we had to move again to a the next leg of the trip. 


Safe Journeys,