Eastern Mojave Vegetation Interpretive panel “Lost in a Blizzard”  


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  Colorado, Gunnison, Gateview
Photographed 18 September 2017.

Lost in a Blizzard

“In the Colorado Rockies where the snow is deep and cold ... a man afoot can starve to death unless he's brave and bold.” -- Ballad of Alferd Packer

What is now recognized as one of the most notorious events in Colorado's history -- cannibalism by Alferd Packer -- unfolded in the valley below you. If was here that Alferd Packer and his men made a most disastrous mistake, then missed a turn in the trail and became hopelessly lost in the San Juan Mountains.

On that fateful day in February 1874, Alferd Packer became lost in a severe snow storm while guiding five men from Salt Lake City ti the Los Piņos Indian Agency, located south of what is now Gunnison. At the time, the Old Spanish Trail was a well worn trail that continued on to Taos and Santa Fe. Unfortunately, snow covered the trail in the valley below and the hapless men continued to the south instead of remaining in the trail to the east.

Cannibalism in the high country could have been averted had they remained on the correct trail towards Cohetopa Pass.

Location records that use this photograph:

Article records that use this photograph:

  • “Silver Thread Scenic Byway,” Colorado State Highway 149, Colorado: Gateview.
  • Field Notes: 18 Sep 2017.

Other photos about Geography - Colorado or Gateview.


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Date and time this page was prepared: 7/13/2024 8:16:34 AM