|Hiking||5.20 Miles|| 3 Hrs 45 Mns || ||1.39 mph|
|1,422 ft AEG|| || || |
Took my four nephews and my cousin's husband up to Wind Cave TH to attempt the Pass Mountain Ridgeline. I had done this trail once before and knew I was setting this group up for a challenging hike. The four boys (age 10 -16) are very adventurous, and I knew they would not only be able to do it, but would really enjoy the off trail scrambling along the Ridgeline.
The youngest, Brendon (10), was a little slower going, but handled the route without complaint. We reached Wind Cave at 40 minutes, and bagged the south peak at 1hr 10min. After a few pics of the snow-capped mountains to the East and North, we began our trek across the Ridgeline.
We reached the highest point near the North where we found the geocache box and signed our names into the log inside. We perused through some of the contents and I added a Sacajawea dollar to the cache.
We continued on towards the north, stopping at a prominent cliffs edge. This time I ignored the bushwhack route to the East and led the group down a few 4-5 foot ledges that drop off the west side. Shortly thereafter we picked up a lightly used trail along a ridge towards the north. The descent continues along the top of this ridge and starts to turn towards the west. The gravel is loose in some long stretches, so we had to be careful with our footing. As the trail started to ease up in grade, we were able to gain speed and even run down the mountain. Soon we found ourselves just above the Pass Mountain Trail. We turned north down a trail to our right and within a few hundred feet we were on the main Pass Trail, along with the hordes of other hikers and mountain bikers using the trail. After having the entire ridgeline to ourselves, it was quite the contrast to suddenly be surrounded by people.
The older boys took off running towards Wind Cave TH. I hung back with Dan and Brendon. We finished up at 3hrs 45 mins after we started.
The best part of this hike is the seclusion along the Ridgeline. 99% of the crowd just does not go up there. The route is primitive, and yet easy to stay on track. As long as you stay high and keep the city view to the West in sight, you can't really go wrong.
||Wildflowers Observation Moderate
|This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.|