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820 triplogs

Oct 12 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
AZT Passage 35 Boundary to Moqui Station, AZ 
AZT Passage 35 Boundary to Moqui Station, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2019
tibber
Hiking5.27 Miles 523 AEG
Hiking5.27 Miles   2 Hrs   3 Mns   2.70 mph
523 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Part 2 of our day. We had not planned to do this but rather to get our vehicles and set up camp at Moqui Station. It was going to be a cold evening so in light of a fast pace for us in finishing Powerlines to Boundary, we opted to get 'er done. Shawn and Tracy took the truck from the Boundary to Moqui Station and Ambika and I just kept hiking north. We would do a key swap in-between, of course, so that I could drive the truck back to Boundary.

This time, the trail was all off the road and this time it was mostly through the trees. There really wasn't a lot to see and the terrain didn't vary much along the way. It was a narrow rut for the first part of it so that wasn't too much fun; especially cuz I could feel a blister forming on my outer back foot. But nonetheless, we powered ahead except for a 5 minute break for Ambika to down some food. I did a lot of narration on the video to pass the time. I also gathered in my mind that we should meet Shawn and Tracy around the 3 mile mark which we did, right on the button. That's when you know your hiking partners pretty well.

With two more miles to go it was one foot in front of the other. We finally were within site of the end via a wide open area that was sure pretty. At the end of the trail, we hung a left and headed for the Station to get the truck. As we were getting ready to head out another hiker rolls in and come to find out he was gimping and was wanting a ride to Flagstaff. We explained our shuttling situation and invited him to come aboard. He was a thru-hiker that had started at the northern terminus Oct 2nd or 4th. Brian had already hiked from the southern terminus to Oracle.

But now the fun time, driving Shawn's truck. There was a cool sand pile of a road for a bit that I got to shimmy through and before you knew it, we were at the Boundary. We rearranged the truck a bit for our shuttle with the additional passenger. Soon, Shawn and Tracy appeared and I gave them the skinny on our new hiker.

So we gathered up and headed back down the way we had driven-hiked-and now driven again to the Powerlines where we picked up Ambika's vehicle before heading on the road out to the 180. The Hunter Moon was up and showing off big time so we did have to stop a few times to try and get a photo. The dust was lying low so we got a couple shots of that as Shawn was ahead of us. In this part of the video, the guitar music is by our own: HAZ's LosDosSloFolks. I think you'll be impressed. And remember there is quite a bit of narration on the hiking part of the video as I was killing time.

We tried to find a hotel in Flagstaff for Brian but there was nothing doing. So he decided to go with Plan B and catch the 1 AM bus to Holbrook so we dropped him at the bus station. Brian is from Alpine. We assume he finally made it home safely.

We've now completed Sections 20 thru 37 for 345.9 miles. We have completed 33 of 42 Passages (600 miles).


Video of the hike and drive: [ youtube video ]
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Oct 12 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
AZT Passage 35 Powerlines - Boundary, AZ 
AZT Passage 35 Powerlines - Boundary, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2019
tibber
Hiking9.95 Miles 462 AEG
Hiking9.95 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   2.97 mph
462 ft AEG      24 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
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desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
AZT in A Day. Our mission: Section 71 which I just realized I named backwards so I'll fix that as we hiked it northbound. Southbound would have been better for the views. This hike was a road walk. We drove it first after dropping Shawn's truck at the Boundary. Tracy and I thot we would be taking FR 301 but Shawn said we basically would drive the route we would be hiking. That drive was a little rough in spots as Ambika's truck slowly ambled to the Powerlines.

We got the group photo at the Powerlines before heading northbound for about ten miles starting around 10:26ish. Then we would shuttle back and get Ambika's vehicle and then shuttle back up to Moqui Station to set up camp. But.......... more on that later.

The Golden Rabbitbrush was in abundance as it covered the prairie with occasional bouts of a tree showing up, somewhat like what you envision in Africa. Some of the Rabbitbrush in this area had little white balls. I picked one off to discover a seedhead and later I picked another to discover it was starting to fluff out into a puff ball. The whole hike had Rabbitbrush in various stages and a lot of it.

And then there was a short almost encounter with a cow/calf as they made their mad dash to get away from the people in green and white tee shirts. Around 12:15 and five miles later... Shawn didn't believe we had actually gone five miles in 1:45. He said, "you mean 3 miles"; no Shawn, we did 5. So then the discussion became, if we keep this up, can we just finish that last 5 and not have to camp in the cold (low 30s). We felt pretty confident that we could but would wait to reassesses at the Boundary. So after a short lunch, we mounted up again. We did run into some thru hikers and Shawn gave them the heads up about the new trail on the new, just completed Happy Jack section.

A little later we would see a Veteran tagged vehicle but he (sitting in the vehicle) didn't say hello until we were passed him a piece. And then around Lockwood Tank, two bike riders would go by and one only said, "on your left" and the other said nada. Friendly bunch. Down a little further on the road we saw a bunch of Blue Jays dancing around but never lighting enough to get a photo. This was the second Blue Jay 'hood we had passed through today, one while driving and the other hiking. And at 2:24 we were done with our AZT in A Day and had already made plans a couple miles back to continue.

Video from our AZT in a Day portion of the hike: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Mesa Butte
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Oct 05 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Preserve N. Micro Loop, AZ 
Phoenix Preserve N. Micro Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 05 2019
tibber
Hiking2.57 Miles 455 AEG
Hiking2.57 Miles      52 Mns   3.02 mph
455 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
something is better than nothing. Intended to do more but Goldilocks wasn't feelin' it.
I did hike a little different part of the trail I hadn't done before and now I know where it goes.
From a distance, heard a biker wipeout, then saw him, then saw his biking buddy come back for him. Hope he was okay.
I see where that one circular dead end parking lot on Dunlap seems to be open now (the one that is west of the 38th St TH).
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
1 archive
Sep 22 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Shaw Butte Trail #306Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 22 2019
tibber
Hiking4.30 Miles 935 AEG
Hiking4.30 Miles   1 Hour   39 Mns   2.61 mph
935 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
my first of the season and one of the hardest I've done in quite some time. I did think of turning back but plodded up the mountain. It was in the low 70s, felt warmer. I do have to say I enjoy the couple little pieces of pavement as it is slippery in places. Helped direct a couple hikers wanting to do the loop.
Lots of hikers and dogs out and some hikers were sharing their music ](*,) . Saw 3 dragonflies, two small orange bi-wing and one regular blue wing.
My lower back hurt a little and my legs got sore toward the end, probably from the billion I did of the gazillion squats from yesterday's workout. I didn't do the gazillion cuz I knew I wanted to hike this AM :lol: .
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Sep 15 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lookout Mtn Circumference Trail #308Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2019
tibber
Hiking2.39 Miles 366 AEG
Hiking2.39 Miles      56 Mns   2.56 mph
366 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Cclockwise. Humid. Glad for a slight breeze or I might have quit early. Quite a few hikers out. I saw one wash out that needs some rocks. parking lot was full when I came at 7:15 and half empty when I stopped at around 8:15.
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
2 archives
Sep 02 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41 north to 205, AZ 
Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41 north to 205, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2019
tibber
Hiking7.81 Miles 1,147 AEG
Hiking7.81 Miles   3 Hrs   48 Mns   2.23 mph
1,147 ft AEG      18 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Day 5 of our five days of hiking the Arizona Trail. After another nice night of camping we mounted up all into one vehicle as we would be hiking back to camp from where we started yesterday afternoon. Once again we would be hiking thru the remnants of the 2006 Warm Fire for a good portion of the hike. From an article in 2016 http://kjzz.org/content/10328/arizona-w ... onary-tale
When lightning first sparked the forest on the Kaibab Plateau, it was what fire ecologists consider a productive fire -- cleaning up the low lying fuels and small diameter trees within the mapped boundaries. Wally Covington who heads the Ecological Restoration Institute says the fire rolled along like this for more than two weeks burning 20,000 acres.
“Things were looking good there was a great deal of confidence until it escaped and then of course it was ‘oh my goodness,’” Covington said. That’s when wind gusts swirled and the fire raged out of control, scorching 600-year-old trees and jumping the only paved road to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Hundreds of visitors were trapped. Park service officials, firefighters and police led people on a web of forest roads out of the smoke to safety.
Martha Hahn who directed the Grand Canyon Trust at the time, said the Warm Fire became a cautionary tale.
which makes me wonder about the current "wildlands fire" that was burning to the SW of us.

The hike was a lot like yesterday afternoon with lanes of thick growing aspen and views toward very tall trunks that still loom above the landscape. And also like most of the hike, there were patches and lanes of wildflowers including the giant expired flower lupine. You go up and down and around not too far from the road. There are occasional stances of very tall ponderosa and of course areas with thistle and mullein.

As you round one of the bends you can see all the way to the Vermillion Cliffs above the Cliff Dwellers Lodge with views as far away as Navajo Mountain, though hazy and hard to shoot.We took a little break at not quite the 4 mile mark near an unnamed road and a tall stance of a few ponderosa.

The 300 foot drop in 1/2 mile was sure unexpected and you know, what goes down in hiking usually means you gotta go up. We hiked in a valley for a small bit before heading back up that 1/2 mile where we took our last break at Sixty Seven Apron. We spotted what we thot was Shawn's truck but realized that wasn't the case since we left the truck 5 3/4 miles back :lol: . I guess we're getting squirrely on the fifth day.

From there it's little ups and downs mostly in the open with aspen and such. Another hill comes at about the 6 1/2 mile point and drops down and up before the rest of the rolly poly hiking. You eventually end up on an old forest road that was probably used for logging. I love the grade of these roads to hike on. We came upon some raspberries so had to pick a few of those. There was a false forest summit when we thot we were in the forest taking us to camp only to realize, "nope, not quite yet". And two days in a row, I get to drink a 10:30AM beer.

We packed up our belongings and headed for Jacob Lake but NOT before stopping alongside a road for Shawn and Tracy to saw and move a log from the trail that they had noted from the day before hike. It was sprinkling off and on. We also took the road to wherever it would come out onto the highway so that was a bit of an adventure. For our last of 6 nites up here, we opted for a cabin at Jacob Lake. We had a great breakfast, the bacon is outstanding!

[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
2 archives
Sep 01 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Kaibab Plateau AZT 40 to 41 - S to Teleph Hill, AZ 
Kaibab Plateau AZT 40 to 41 - S to Teleph Hill, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2019
tibber
Hiking2.89 Miles 272 AEG
Hiking2.89 Miles   1 Hour   20 Mns   2.48 mph
272 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Day 3, Part 2 of our five day hiking barrage of the AZT. We decided to make tomorrow a much easier day, we would hike the last 3 miles of the AZT 40 southbound this afternoon. This was very smart planning on Tracy's part! The only problem was is the road we were supposed to take to this part of the trail that shows up on the map, does not show up in person. We reached that conclusion after driving back and forth and decided at this little pullout on the east side of the road that we would hike to see if we could find the road. We could see the trail.

So off we went, cross country looking for the road that seemingly has vanished. A little bit of bushwhacking got us to the trail and we set a way point to come for tomorrow's hike. The trail was in pretty nice shape and it is indeed thru the burn area that is slowly coming back to life with many thick groves of small to medium aspen. The Warm Fire in 2006 sure did its damage.
The Warm Fire began by a lightning strike and was initially managed for the health of the forest. Then a storm cell moved in and high winds carried the fire across SR67. A back burn was lit and ultimately almost 60,000 acres burned. The North Rim was closed and evacuated for almost a week.
Here is the rest of the write up about a former seasonal ranger's drive on FR 241 which is near where we were hiking: https://geogypsytraveler.com/2017/05/30 ... -road-241/

There was a rather tall bush that was leaning over the trail but it was demolished by the Big Kahuna (Shawn), see photos. In this same area, where not much has come back to life, there were quite a few wildflowers and some budding thistle. As we got thru the aspen lanes and a little higher, we could see the smoke from the wildland fire to the WSW of us. I got some pics and video.

Soon we would be heading in a more easterly direction and you could see the trunks of some of the very tall trees that once stood here. They were pretty massive. A couple hawks also flew by to entertain us for a few moments. Going down Telephone Hill the topography changes dramatically as you're in the forest and there is some large rockery around. We enjoyed the trek through here as the sun seemed to dip behind the clouds for most of this. Eventually we came out of the forest at the bottom of the hill to the meadow where we hung a right to head back to the shuttle. It was a nice double for the day.

[ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Sep 01 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41 89a to 205, AZ 
Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41 89a to 205, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2019
tibber
Hiking8.44 Miles 2,040 AEG
Hiking8.44 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   2.30 mph
2,040 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Day Four of our 50 miles of hiking the Kaibab Plateau portion of the AZT. The sleeping temp was lovely at our new camp and the view was also much better. Today we only had to take one vehicle as we would be hiking from 89a to our camp so we were able to get off to an even earlier start, 6:45AM ish.

Southbound: So thru the forest we went. The whole hike would be thru the forest with a mixture of fir and aspen. Some of the fir trees were very tall. The first part of the hike the forest floor was being touched by the glow of the morning sun so that was pretty and right off the bat, I saw a new wildflower.

We would be following an old forest road for the most part so I once again enjoyed the walking and gawking :) . There were a couple little hills here and there as we worked our way UP the plateau but nothing dramatic. It was nice being low between the hills on each side as the shade made for nice temperatures as we weaved between the tree cover and observed occasional spats of wildflowers.

The only thing bad about the hike were my blisters. So I did request a break for ten minutes after a few miles. I had one on each foot and they were getting pretty big now; fortunately they weren't too painful. In fact, as of this writing on 10-3-2019, the round remnants still remain. I realize the bubble was to protect the skin. I don't pop them.

Tracy didn't like being on the forest road but I didn't think it was that roady so I liked it. We passed thru one of the badly burned areas and a few minutes later back in the forest we hit Ridge Tank which was very low (basically a very big puddle even the cattle would probably have trouble with). There were quite a few cattle about. There is also a large cachement just to the other side of it with a big tank system of some sort. Around 9:50 or so we took our last break of this hike.

The rest of the trip was more of the same. As we got closer to the roads, the human activity picked up and especially as we got pretty near some campsites. There is a tight lane of trees you walk between toward the end as you get closer to FR 205 so that was kind of neat. And at a little after 11, yep, I got to crack open my beer.

We would take a few hour break and then tackle part of 41's top and finish off 40 including the downhill of Telephone Hill.

Part 1: [ youtube video ]
Part 2: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Ridge Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Aug 31 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40 610 Teleph Hill, AZ 
Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40 610 Teleph Hill, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 31 2019
tibber
Hiking10.17 Miles 1,607 AEG
Hiking10.17 Miles   5 Hrs   35 Mns   2.16 mph
1,607 ft AEG      53 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
After another cold morning, we set up a pretty short shuttle as we decided to shorten day 3 and leave Telephone Hill for either of the next two days. That plan would get revised again which is the great thing about shuttling up here, there are lots of roads or near roads to use as a base. Day 3 of 5, northbound from FR 610 to Telephone Hill.

The first 3/4 mile was thru the forest and down pretty quickly in elevation. The trail was in really nice shape for this slightly steep downhill. Almost to the bottom you see the canyon before you.... well meadow actually. Tater that is. We head northbound for quite a few miles enjoying the bits of changing landscape and flora. We saw a coyote out for his morning feast. He was undecided how he wanted to handle this crowd of 4 but decided to retreat back from whence he came.

We would soon be hiking in the forest again and when we turned this one corner we ended up hiking in what was like a tunnel of aspen. It was so cool. Today, in fact, would definitely be aspen day. Yesterday was meadow day. We seemed to be lane hiking for a good portion of this part of the hike as it was tree-lined on both sides, mostly aspen but then sometimes the aspen would change out for fir. Anyway, it was great fun weaving in and out of these lanes.

We next came to a valley that was loaded with wildflowers; though small and hard to photograph they were everywhere and quite a nice variety. As we went up the hill to the other side the Showy Goldeneyes were almost carpeting the ground. The view from a top the hill of Pleasant Valley was really spectacular so we enjoyed that for a bit before finishing our little climb back into the forest. Once again the forest was throwing up these very tall trees before Little Pleasant Valley appeared with the corral in the background. These little Valleys are so sweet. We had lunch at the corral, a very nice corral system if I do say so myself.

A little ways after leaving the corral you skirt another little valley, no name with a no name rather large pond. Next you head up hill a bit with more traipsing thru the forest. As you pass by another small corral system and out of the forest you get to see Crane Lake. Looks a little different from this AM when we passed by and there was steam coming off of it from the cold. There were all sorts of ravens flying about and over to the SW you could see the smoke from the wildlands fire we had see signs for. Shawn went and checked on something and then we finished hiking thru this meadow and yep, you guessed it, back into the forest. It was getting a little warm once again as it had the past two afternoons and that's why we started early.

We come out of the forest one more time to do a little more meadow walking near Hwy 67 where we can see Shawn's truck in the distance. In front of us is Telephone Hill which we had decided to save for another day.

We unwound the shuttle. I took Ambika's car, stopped at the store and picked up Stella Rosa Rose wine and some ice before heading back to camp. Our plan was to move camp over to FR 205. Once the others came back from their N Rim showers we were packed up and at the new camp in less than 2 hours. This new campsite was very nice as I had a view, it was warmer and there was a bathroom.

[ youtube video ] to about 4 miles in
[ youtube video ] 4 miles to Little Pleasant Valley
[ youtube video ] Little Pleasant Valley to Telephone Hill
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Aug 30 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40 to FR 610, AZ 
Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40 to FR 610, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 30 2019
tibber
Hiking9.51 Miles 1,631 AEG
Hiking9.51 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   2.35 mph
1,631 ft AEG   1 Hour   12 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Day Two of Five: we rose a little earlier after another very cold nite. We could see our breath. I think Shawn made us pancakes so that's always a nice way to start our day.

After setting up the shuttle, a little shorter today, we once again headed across the little meadow but instead of turning right like yesterday, we turned left. We followed next to a road for just a bit before crossing it. This Passage is definitely a meadowy passage as we hit our first big meadow that stretched out in front of us and then curved to the left as we hiked in what is called Upper North Rim Canyon. We were lucky that the wildflowers were still out enforce. It's been a banner wildflower summer for me between Glacier and these five days on the Kaibab Plateau. I threw in a few more flora photos so the photo set is larger than normal :stop: .

As we got closer to a tree line when the meadow narrowed, I started seeing all these mounds. I had no idea what they were but there was a whole town of them. Shawn informed me they were gopher holes. We continued between tree lines for awhile passing by Sourdough Well and FR 400 (altho it didn't look like much of a road). There is a dry grassy pond just past there but it is not the Well. In about 1/4 mile from there we head out of Upper N Rim Cany and into the forest with mostly aspen. We cross over yet another FR, 612 and join up with the Kaibab Plateau Trail which we will be on for the rest of our days up here. Once again the meadows were showing off their flowers altho it's very hard to photograph; especially when you can't stop and really take the time to show and tell.

We will be hiking on an old road for a bit. I was still seeing lots of flowers (and just a few of them made the photoset otherwise there could easily have been 75 photos at least). We came to a big tree across the road not too far from Crystal Spring; a waypoint was posted so that we could come back to tackle this tree with the proper tools. As Chums noted, the spring box was full of water. Soon we would be into the forest again. We took a break as the preliminary climb before the climb to the East Rim was starting.

Once we more or less leveled out you could get glimpses east to the Canyon and Marble Canyon. On top of that, the trail had wildflowers on both sides. It didn't photograph well but trust me, it was pretty awesome :) plus the aspen were so very tall! We had passed another couple earlier and then another couple that was trying to get pictures with their dog and the flowers. We had lunch at one of the picnic tables at East Rim Viewpoint. That was so cool. While there a drone flew over and into the Canyon area. We hoped he wouldn't crash as there would be one heck of a hike to retrieve it.

After crossing over FR 611, our next photo op was Dog Lake with its surrounding corral. I didn't realize until I looked at the topo today that it is just off of Dog Canyon because I didn't know there was even a Dog Canyon (obviously I didn't do sufficient beta). We would cross over Dog Canyon's very large meadow as we went past this little lake. Once again, the wildflowers were all over the place. They aren't the biggest wildflowers but there were a lot. This one wildflower was very perplexing and we would see it again for the rest of our hiking. I think I have IDed it as a Sulphur-Flowered Buckwheat :-k [ photo ] , it's very short. It was prolific.

This was a pretty long meadow and it was just a little warm. Fortunately there was a bit of a breeze. It was interesting that the trees were in layers along the right flank of the meadow; like someone had planted them that way. And into the forest we went with about 3/4 miles until we were glad to be done with the trail.

But now, it was time to cut the tree. It was a bit of a project as they also had to cut off the side branches in order to roll it off the road/trail. We took the residual and threw it on the old road/path that had been created. And then it was off for showers and Ambika and me opted for dinner at the Lodge (it was great).

[ youtube video ] to just past Sourdough Well
[ youtube video ] to about 1 1/2 from East Rim
[ youtube video ] to FR 610, drive to cut the tree, cutting the tree
Culture
Culture
HAZ Food
Named place
Named place
Crystal Spring Dog Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
substantial but small. Don't know if that's the norm up there.
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Aug 29 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Grand Canyon - North Rim - AZT #39Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2019
tibber
Hiking12.82 Miles 1,640 AEG
Hiking12.82 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   2.38 mph
1,640 ft AEG   1 Hour   7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
We had camped the nite off of FR 213. It was a very cold nite. I was glad I brot my sleeping liner so at least I didn't have to put on another layer of clothes; altho it was still cold.

A big five days of hiking started with 12 1/2 miles or so southbound from the Northern TH that had recently been re-fenced with Shawn and Tracy's help. It is a beautiful TH with a nice restroom. None of us had done this long of a hike in quite some time. But we were led to believe by three of us that it was relatively flat.... the key word being "relative".

We hiked into the forest, took the detour up the tower... well one of us went all the way to the top. From trip reports I read that you must take the trip up to the tower; I'm guessing this wasn't that tower. The views were basically none because of all the smoke. Before heading back the .1 to the trail, the others checked out the porcupine dinner on the table in the old cabin; I passed.

We continued along an old road to the high point of the Arizona Trail according to Shawn before heading slightly down the hill to the North Rim Entrance Station Ranger area. Nice facility. As we walked away and headed south, it appears someone had laid a pebbly gravel lane for a bit. This route and trail now follows an old telephone/power route that is marked by power boxes ever so often (shows up on topo). A little past there we started up an unanticipated 260 feet in 1/2 mile (Lindbergh Hill). We hike via some aspen alley ways and then hit some ponderosa forest before heading down rather quickly to cross the road where we would have lunch. Apparently someone else had stopped their car along Hiwy 67 and was using the trail as a pee zone.

We were 1/2 way now so onward we marched thru more forest with some nice ponderosas and some aspen from time to time as well. We followed an old road for awhile. We passed thru an area where Shawn and Tracy showed us the remnants of a massive tree they had sawed down; it's in the video. I think not too far from there we got a big fallen tree off the trail around the 10.5 mile mark. We finally made it to Widforss TH and took a 5 minute break or so. Just past here in Harvey Meadow was a staging area for the wildland fire. After that it was a quick jaunt up the hill to the N Kaibab TH. We made pretty decent time for us not having done a big hike in a long while.

It was a beer for me that I gladly took into the shower. Since we were so close we opted to get showers. Next we picked up the vehicle at the TH and stopped at the Country Store to get some ice before heading back to camp.

Part 1 [ youtube video ] to past the North Rim Ranger Station
Part 2 [ youtube video ]
Part 3 [ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Red-tailed Hawk
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
2 archives
Aug 25 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lookout Mtn Circumference Trail #308Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 25 2019
tibber
Hiking2.54 Miles 565 AEG
Hiking2.54 Miles      55 Mns   2.77 mph
565 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
needed my legs to remember hiking in anticipation of our AZT day-hiking up on the Kaibab Plateau starting Thur with two 12.5 mile days in a row : rambo : and then another 25 miles or so over the next three days.

Today: Humid, thank goodness for the little breeze, quite a few people out. Trail is in pretty decent shape, still see results where they put what I call "sticky scree" rocks on certain parts of the trail.

Just an FYI - I was having a pretty serious RIGHT outer leg pain issue since our AZT backpack last Thanksgiving. Then I fell on the trail in January and it was exasperated. Well I just kept waiting and waiting for it to get better. Finally in July it seemed the pain reached just an uncomfortable plateau rather than pain but it wouldn't go away. Threw in the towel and went to a leg pain specialist who instantly diagnosed it as sciatica. Well I had ruled that out via Dr. Google as my back was not included and I've had sciatica before, it's brutal. He ordered the MRI. Since there's really nothing that can be done for my current level of sciatica; I didn't see the point.

Well lo and behold, later that week the pain seemed to almost completely subside; it got thru that plateau. I cancelled the MRI and now my leg is just about back to normal other than occasional pain in my outer knee. I just wanted to share this in case any of you experience this issue. You're welcome, Dr. Romain out :lol: .
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
1 archive
Aug 10 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37, AZ 
Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 10 2019
tibber
Hiking9.72 Miles 758 AEG
Hiking9.72 Miles   4 Hrs   6 Mns   2.83 mph
758 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
We left town around 7:30AM and met up at the IMAX around 10:45AM. We left Tonto Jr to pile into Shawn's truck for the supposedly short drive to the buses at the VC. The short drive was at least 30 minutes as the line getting into the Park was very long and moved slowly. And then once we boarded the bus, the driver waited for awhile as he tried to pile more passengers in so that the bus was stuffed to the gills.

We put on our gear and headed along the paved trail enjoying the views into the canyon when they were exposed. I was last at this trailhead in 2010. We didn't know we had missed the turn south until Shawn asked if we were going the right way so we had to backtrack a bit. There is NO signage indicating that obscure dirt trail is the AZT. This was the first of our "oops" we missed a turn.

So you hike to the paved road and across altho I accidentally took a small shortcut. Once across the road you are into the forest but can still hear the noise of the road. You come to the powerline road and we continued across as I saw a carsonite but this was NOT right. So we're moseying down the trail and Shawn once again asks if we're going the right way. I look at HAZel and say, we're right on the trail. Tracy looks at her app and it says we are NOT on the trail.... again. The trail has been re-routed from HAZ's official route so we had to cross-country a bit to get back to the powerline road.

You once again cross a highway and then you are on a paved path for way too many miles and you're near the road and campsites. Certainly not the AZT experience one expects. It was past lunch time due to our late start so we thot we might as well take advantage of the picnic tables along the campsites and pulled over. We watched ravens picking away at the food some others had left on their table.

Back on the paved path again until you get to cross the road again on to more paved path and in the line of the helo traffic from time to time. During this whole hike we would see only one other person and it was a bike rider. My entertainment was kicking off even the littlest rocks from the pathway (no pine cones to crush this time [ Triplog ] ). The pain of walking on this pavement was not pleasurable for any of us as we were all whining. We finally got to the end of the park and took a short break on a log to let the burning feet sensation subside enough to continue on.

Once you go thru the tunnel it's all dirt. I had commented that I was surprised we didn't record any 20 minute miles on all that pavement as you feel like you're going a pretty good pace. So Shawn says, I'll try and do a 20 minute mile with you. Well by that time, the pavement had turned to dirt but I thot "what the heck" and at the 7 mile mark we gave it a whirl. Well within minutes I barely could see Shawn and then I was hearing all sorts of bird commotion so I wanted to record it. So I'm walking as fast as I can while I film the sound.

We then came to an intersection that Shawn blew by so he had to back track. Not that it mattered because once again within minutes he was almost out of my site. I then had to stop to get a hike-by picture of a flora I hadn't seen before. Finally we hit the one mile mark and HAZel said I had done 17:29 minutes. Shawn was probably about 5 minutes ahead of me including the detour so he probably did around 12 minutes. He just kept going as did I until we came to the intersection by the rock outcropping where he was sitting waiting for us.

To summarize:
toddak wrote:
The section between the SK trailhead and Tusayan is probably the least enjoyable stretch of the AZT I've done so far - highway traffic noise, helicopters overhead, several miles of pavement walking on the Greenway. Routing a new trail a couple miles to the east on a more direct line to the SK trailhead would be a big improvement, but I imagine the NPS isn't very receptive to the idea of building new trails inside the park.
My response: The AZT Section Crew just did this yesterday and we are in total agreement with you.

We walked over to the IMAX and then over to Wendy's where Shawn bot Frosty's. We dropped Ambika at the hotel where she was meeeting her family. We then went over to the Yavapai Lodge and had a louszy dinner before picking up Shawn's truck and headed over to Grandview Point tower campsite. The next morning, they rolled out about 5:30 and I wasn't too far behind except Tonto Jr no start. I quickly texted Tracy and fortunately, they weren't too far away so came back for the jump.

I didn't turn off Tonto Jr until I got home except for when I got home, I thot my garage door remote wasn't working so I went in the house and then realized the electricity was out. I went and flipped the breaker and then the neighbors came out to tell me the electricity had gone out at 3:15AM and they were waiting for it to be repaired. The workmen were at the street behind us. However, the repair time wouldn't be until 2:30. So I took Tonto Jr to Pep Boys and got a new battery, hung out at Starbucks and then picked up lunch when I got the notice, electricity was on.

And now a whirlwind weekend was done but my shins were going to be killing me; they did and they have.


[ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Turkey Vulture
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Jul 14 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Marias River, MT 
Marias River, MT
 
Kayak avatar Jul 14 2019
tibber
Kayak12.22 Miles 6 AEG
Kayak12.22 Miles
6 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Check. I finally got to float a part of the Marias River by the Romain Farms. It's something I've wanted to do since the 2013 Romain Homestead Reunion. The weather has been very tenuous during my whole stay in Montana and today wasn't any different. There were clouds here and there; it looked a bit iffy but I said, "Let's go." So after lunch we drove over to cousin Brian's where they were loading up the four kayaks in the back of the pick up. Connie and I would drive them to the bridge and Brian and Kim would set up the shuttle at the Coulee near the pumphouse where we would pull out.

Connie and I waited longer at the bridge than we thot we would for them to come meet us. Come to find out, the road was a little more treacherous (see photos) than they anticipated; especially for Kim's little SUV. Connie and I would see what they meant in a few hours. Connie and I thot the river looked like it was running high and fast. Brian agreed. He said it is actually the highest he has ever paddled it. He said they were probably releasing water from Tiber Dam that they had been holding back due to so much water down stream from late winter and spring weather. So I did my Chumley imitation and checked the cfs chart for Tiber Dam when I got home and it showed 1900 cfs for July vs the normal 600 cfs (Oct-Mar); altho I suspect for the summer months the release is a little higher. The chart showed 1647 in Jun, 982 in May and Apr with 701.

So off we went. Me on my second kayaking trip ever, first time on a river. I was a little apprehensive especially since Brian insinuated that the worst that could happen if I tipped over is I could stand up. That was before he saw the river. Well not today cousin, not today. He gave me a few pointers, mostly to paddle three times on either side; not sure why but it seemed to work. For the most part, the river just took us so we didn't have to paddle a lot except to change direction or go from one side to the other. After several switchbacks, just after Wolfe Coulee we came to an outlet for Cottonwood Creek that we paddled down a little. However, you can no longer access the creek from the river via kayak as there is a road across. There is a culvert but you can't get thru it.

From here the Hoodoos started to appear in earnest. We did see lots of ducks and geese and some pelicans and hawks along the way. We would also see deer and eventually a Bald Eagle. Brian says it's mostly the Goldens that hang along the Marias so this was rare. We also saw a section full of swallows and their nests. Occasionally there are little islands so you have to pick your route. To the north there were more roads down here than I thot and it is farmed more than I thot. Of course, irrigation logistics are easier down here.

In the distance we could make out something white. At first I thot it was on land but as we got closer it appeared to be more in the air. Then we saw the power lines across the river but it wasn't until we were almost upon it that we saw an electrified pelican :o . It was really quite the site! Looked pretty good for being electrified. A little past this, around 6 miles we paddle by Hay Coulee where there appears to be a ranch operation. After the coulee the cliffs spring up again so we get to enjoy the Hoodoos. Brian feels by this time that the storm is heading north so we can relax and dawdle. About the 8 3/4 miles we paddle by Horse Coulee.

It was most intriguing when you got to paddle right under the Marias cliffs; especially with all the various rock formations and colors. Of course, the sky would be changing colors off and on and we were still keeping an eye on it. Well as you will see by the photos, they sky started to get dark and Brian said, "we gotta move". So as much as we wanted to continue to enjoy this river and its scenery at our leisure, that time was over. We paddled a little more quickly now not knowing what we would be in for in just a few moments. Brian wasn't exactly sure how far we were from our "get out" point but soon he remarked we were pretty close. It seemed from the moment he said that, the weather changed and we were all paddling a little faster now :scared: .

Then the wind.... it came so fast you hardly had time to react plus it got really cold. Luckily for us, the wind blew us to the south shore which is where we needed to go. For the most part, any paddling you tried to do was fruitless. I was trying to avoid getting stuck on shore when I still had a bit to go to get to the pumphouse. Since the river was high, we were able to paddle a little bit through the high grass until you could get close enough to jump out in almost knee high water and carry your kayak.

At this point Brian barked out orders as he helped to get his 70 year old sister out and to shore. I helped carry Kim's kayak and then went and got my own. We loaded the kayaks and roped them in while the storm was going off all around us. Little did we know that just across the river, it was getting pummeled with hail. Here is the weather review: https://www.weather.gov/tfx/Severe_Wind ... _14th_2019. I cannot tell you how lucky we were as we had no protection. We were also lucky that when the storm hit we only had 1/2 mile or so to go. Then we had to get the vehicle out through some difficult road conditions. By the time we got up on the bluff, the storm had more or less dissipated. That's how fast it was moving.

We encountered a farmer from the north side of the river that was out surveying the damage. He said his harvest wouldn't take as long now. :( He said the storm took out a couple trees at the farm too. We would later see one of the downed trees as we drove a little north of the river to survey the damage once we saw there was hail where we had put in at along with broken branches. It looks like the storm cut about a two mile swath. We were so lucky.

Here is video of the drive around our farms from the day before if you're interested: [ youtube video ]
This is the video from Wendy's tour of the Romain farms with Brian including our old place in 2017: [ youtube video ]
This is video from Dead Indian Coulee with my cousin Brian and Ambika in 2010: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
Historical Photograph
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
lots of milkweed
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
1 archive
Jul 12 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Cosley Lake to Chief Customs Trailhead, MT 
Cosley Lake to Chief Customs Trailhead, MT
 
Hiking avatar Jul 12 2019
tibber
Hiking9.50 Miles 1,748 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles   5 Hrs   58 Mns   1.90 mph
1,748 ft AEG      58 Mns Break
 
1st trip
July 12th, Day Six of Six: and like all good things, they come to an end. This would be a bit of a haul the last two miles as it takes you UP a hill to an ending you really don't want to have. Sigh. This was the first nite I didn't sleep well, tossed and turned a lot. We had a nice breakfast again as we still didn't have to be in that big of a hurry. We said our good byes from Cosley Beach to the scenery to our west that we had enjoyed for three days and turned our backs to head east.

Tina thot we could walk along the beach and catch a bit of a non-use trail to take us over to the main Stoney Indian Pass Trail but alas, the water was too high so we had to back track to the food court and take the campsite trail. Maybe it was a bit fortuitous as we got to see another large moose eating off to our right so we enjoyed watching that for a moment. As we walked in and out of the forest and in and out of the meadows, the wildflowers were still showing off :y: . Sometimes as I passed them I swear they were yelling, aren't we awesome :lol: .

Tina practiced her flower learning and learned some more as we headed up and down not too far from the lake. We would constantly steal a glance to the west as we continued toward our first stop and past the Cosley crossing where we were now on the Cosley Cutoff Trail. We stopped to check out the trail to the Bear Mountain Lookout and encountered some hikers that were on their way out. Their older father was with them and apparently was a little gimpy so they were hiking ahead. Soon we arrived at the side trail to Gros Ventre Falls. It may not be tall but it's mighty and only a short trek down to the Mokowanis River to behold this site. It's less than a mile and 1/2 from camp. I grew up between two Indian tribal lands in northcentral Montana, the Gros Ventre was one of them. We only stayed at the Falls for about ten minutes. I took way too many pictures and video. But it was so nice here.

Onward we continued. Sadly you don't get to see the Mokowanis River for the rest of the trip. A little ways into the forest we encountered the Glacier Guides group. We would yo-yo with them a couple times. Eventually you come out of the forest and have your first views of Chief Mountain and Ninaki with its spires as they hover above the meadow which hosts the Ranger Station below us. You don't realize how high above the valley you are as it doesn't seem like you climbed up at all; in fact you've been coming down out of the Mokowanis Drainage which is higher than it seems.

So you do a little criss-crossing on this flank of Bear Mountain and head down toward the river. I find myself looking south at the mountains of the Belly River Drainage where we were 5 days ago. I still take glances back to the mountains of the Mokowanis as well. Once at the bridge, it's a one at a time thing so we let the Glacier Guided group go across. Apparently they were making a game of getting across this sway bridge: don't grab the cables. The last two did a pretty good job and didn't grab the cables but then the sweeper came up and she nearly ran across :o and had a very heavy pack (I got it on video). And once again, Tina crosses eloquently without touching the cables as well.

Next up is our lunch stop at Gable Campground. We talked to another couple while there. They had their fishing poles. But now, it was time to knock out these last six miles. The meadows were still alive with wildflowers everywhere and the clouds were also putting on a bit of a show. The trail was still problematic in places from the rains. We would encounter a couple different hikers but when Tina recognized a ranger in civilian gear, he was with his wife, we both stopped to chat and realized we had both gone on a ranger-guided Iceberg Lake hike with Ranger Schultz of Oregon. How about that! Glacier's like that. Remember in 2017 when Wendy and I were running into all sorts of people not once but a few times.

We stopped at where we think the old Three Mile Trail was to have a snack and rest up for our last three mile push of which the last 2 was 720 feet elevation gain. It did start to get warm and humid as we tried to keep our pace up and I kept waiting for the forest which I thot was much closer. The forest finally came in the last mile and the trail was very nice too. We still enjoyed the trek through the forest with its mostly Thimbleberry ground cover. And before you knew it, we were at our vehicles with no parking signs behind them as they were re-paving the lot and had to work around vehicles coming and going. I am sure they were frustrated with ours being there for six days.

We parted company, Tina for Calgary and me for Chester. I stopped at Two Sisters to have a salad and huckleberry beer. But alas, it was some sort of Indian Days so being on the reservation, it was dry; I had to settle for a Huckleberry Milkshake to go. The drive to Chester wasn't too bad except I had to stop and fuel up in Shelby and pick up some munchies and check with Cousin Connie to see if I could bring anything for dinner. US 2 (the one that goes across the entire USA) was under complete reconstruction around Galata so I had to drive 35 MPH for about 9 miles. What's surprising about that is everyone else was driving that speed too which is highly unusual for Montana drivers :lol: .

The next two days I got to enjoy the ranch and lots of cousins. My cousin Connie kept me well fed which was pretty darn nice after 6 days of hiking/backpacking. Here is a link to a video as we drove around some of the Romain ranches [ youtube video ] and of course, I posted our kayak trip on the Marias and the ranches here: [ photoset ]


[ youtube video ] Cosley Lake to and at Gros Ventre Falls
[ youtube video ] Gros Ventre Falls to Chief Customs TH
Fauna
Fauna
Moose
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Extreme
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Jul 11 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Glenns Lake to Cosley Lake, MT 
Glenns Lake to Cosley Lake, MT
 
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2019
tibber
Hiking4.27 Miles 581 AEG
Hiking4.27 Miles   2 Hrs   9 Mns   2.27 mph
581 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
July 11th, Day Five of Six: goal today was an easy one: Cosley Lake. I looked forward to it because I had seen so many pictures of being at the beach. It wouldn't take us long to get there but in this case, the destination is where we wanted to spend most of our time.

Our camp mates had left early again for their summit day of Pyramid Peak. They are an ambitious couple as they had already attempted the Cathedral Peak summit, Pyramid today and Kaina tomorrow. We, on the other hand, just took our time with a nice leisurely breakfast. We ended up talking to another couple that had been at the site and since they were Canadian, they covered the gambit with Tina about various Canadian things. Tina just became a Canadian citizen. However, they live in Calgary and in Houston as Tina's husband's office is there. It has been interesting hearing how Tina has to do a song and dance to buy from the USA via Canada.

Anyway, we slowly packed up our gear for our hop skip and jump to Cosley Lake campsite. The weather was pretty windy and our skies went from overcast to clear to overcast. The trail was nice of course and this time we were going down hill for the most part. I don't believe we encountered anyone along the way. We did stop at Glenns Lake foot so that I could get some pictures for this back country camping website: http://bcsites.herokuapp.com/bcglacier/starter/ It includes reviews of back country sites in Glacier and various other National Parks including Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce etc. It was really windy at the foot of the lake and would continue for most of the day. That wind coming off the Rocky Mountains has been an issue during much of my life in Montana.

The trail opens up to some meadows and more forest with the mountains rising on your left. You walk through a pretty thick meadow as you make your way off the Stoney Indian Pass Trail to the campsite. There are two hanging bars at this site, one as you get closer to the lake and one at the food prep area. The campsites are all past the food prep area. We encountered two people here, father and daughter. He was a real trooper too as I think he was a fill in. Once again, they had a great story but I can't remember it ](*,) . Note to self, record fellow hiker/camper stories later.

I hung out at the food court while Tina picked us out a site. We didn't want to hang our food yet as we were going to have lunch but you can't just leave food bags unattended. Once she got set up, we swapped. We later had our lunch and then just basically hung out at the campsite the rest of the day until dinner time. It was windy and a bit cold so we couldn't spend as much time on the beach. We all got together for dinner including our former camp mates and a new couple from Portland I think. They were new to each other as well so that's like the fourth couple we met that just arbitrarily got together to go backpacking in GNP. Dave and Stacy showed us some pictures of their successful summit of Pyramid Peak; FABULOUS pictures. It was so fun to see those and hear their story. They do lead climbs for the Glacier Mountaineering Society.

As usual I tried to pawn off my extra food and booze. I was able to get the Portland couple to take my PackIt Gourmet Pumpkin Cheesecake as it was her birthday tomorrow; I hope it turned out good. But no one would help with the booze; go figure. After dinner we hung out at the beach and visited a bit more with Dave and Stacy. This was my last nite in Paradise, we all have our paradises, Glacier is mine. Before I went to bed I assessed my health and didn't realize all the bruises and mosquito bites my legs had attained and a huge bruise on my shoulder. None of it hurt but it wasn't pretty.


Here are some videos:
[ youtube video ] Glenns Lake to the west side of Cosley Lake
[ youtube video ] Cosley Lake
Culture
Culture
Campsite
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Jul 10 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Glenns Lake to Pyramid Falls, MT 
Glenns Lake to Pyramid Falls, MT
 
Hiking avatar Jul 10 2019
tibber
Hiking4.43 Miles 957 AEG
Hiking4.43 Miles   4 Hrs   14 Mns   1.35 mph
957 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
July 10th, Day Four of Six: Goal Margaret Lake, one of Joe Cosley's other girlfriends. Sadly, she will have to be a ghost for me. After a nice breakfast and checking out an alternate campsite that we decided not to take (and visiting with the folks leaving who had done the Stoney Indian Pass the afternoon before and also saw the moose run thru the Food Prep area), we headed up on the Stoney Indian Pass Trail. Shortly we ran into an elderly couple who said they frequently come out here for multi-nite stays (like ten days) and stash food back at other campsites, not sure why the topic came up. In a short while you reach the junction with Mokowanis Lake Trail. There is also a campsite here; one that you take only if nothing else is available in the area as it's just stuck in the woods... not that being stuck in the woods of Glacier Park is a bad thing but when your other choices are lakes; well you get the picture.

We headed south on this very nice trail once again going thru fluffy stands of Beargrass and over a couple bridges at the head of Glenns Lake. White Quiver Falls, though a cool name is not really a falls so I'm wondering if it isn't further up and we're just at the bottom of it. I only found this one picture on the internet: https://www.flickr.com/photos/high_trails/14666248160. I'm not quite sure how one would get there either.
After leaving Pyramid Creek you enter into some more open areas before transitioning back into the forest. The flowers were out enmasse again; such a joy to see. As we got closer to Mokowanis Lake, Tina started looking for a side trail that is hard to find if you don't know that it's there. We more or less did a little bushwhack over to this shelf that sits just above the east edge of Mokowanis Lake. We hung out here for about 15 minutes. The surroundings are beyond spectacular :worthy:

Next we start our mission to get to the un-named Falls: Many of the relative few who see this waterfall, including the back-country rangers, swear that it is the best one in the park. I think most people address it as Pyramid Creek Falls. It spills out of Margaret Lake which many claim to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the Park: https://www.summitpost.org/margaret-lak ... ful/842571 I see from the World Waterfall Database that Pyramid Falls is the adopted name of the Falls. It is 320 feet tall.
Meanwhile here at Mokowanis Lake we stopped to check out the Food Prep area. Being right next to the lake, it has an awesome view. A little further past is the privy which is an open area up a steep hill with a toilet at the top. That would be a tough haul at nite. Also, this is the end of the line so you're pretty isolated here at Mokowanis Backcountry Campsite. We saw a deer eating in one of the two campsites.

A little past here a bit of a trail continues. The foilage is very tall and thick. We looked over to our left and saw a big moose in the distance. He stopped what he was doing and watched us intently. It was pretty windy so I'm not sure how the scent thing was working. After performing our paparazzi duties we continued on going thru the forest now. We got to hike right next to the gently flowing Pyramid Creek which was pretty cool before getting our first good view of a tall cascade. We continued and Tina let me take the lead up a little hill because at the top your reaction is :y:. She said her reaction was similar.

From here you stay pretty close to the Creek as you hike up by this huge cascade and then when you get to the top of that, the red rock of the Grinnell formation that runs below the water is at your feet. The sound from the water is quite loud here. You can feel the power under your feet as the water seems like it's rushing right for you. And of course, now you're very close to the bottom of the waterfall which really looks like two waterfalls in one. In some areas the water comes down in a spray and other areas it rushes down so fast.

You continue your hike up by the creek until an opening to the left presents itself. There is some residual water flowing here as you wind around and up thru the terrain. We came to an area where we couldn't see where to go and once we figured out where we needed to go, we were concerned about the steepness and wetness. Tina wasn't sure as to what was beyond and also due to her recent and still-healing injury, we opted to turn around. I was very sad since we missed Helen too. Alas, we would only get to see one of Joe Cosley's girlfriend namesake lakes on this trip. It was beautiful what we did see and experience.

Just as we got back to the main creek, we encountered the couple that had been our camp mates at Elizabeth Lake Head. We wished them luck. On the way back down I found a little side trail that took us over to the triple cut of the cascades. That was pretty cool. We continued our way back down to Mokowanis Lake and back to the shelf we had been on earlier. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and then a wonderful hike back to Glenns Lake. The flowers had opened up some more but the weather was a little ominous for awhile. I also spotted another rock outcropping or upheaval that we walked to its end. It was an unusual part of topography for this area it seemed. We enjoyed our hike via more beargrass and arrived at camp with plenty of time to sit at our beach before dinner.

Our campmates showed up a little later to tell us of their unsuccessful mission to summit Cathedral Peak. Apparently the beta was not quite accurate. Tomorrow they would be summiting Pyramid before joining us at Cosley Lake Campsite. There was another couple that came in for the nite. That was an interesting relationship similar to a couple we encountered at Elizabeth Lake camp. She basically convinced him to leave living in his car to come on this backpacking trip with her. Apparently he is some sort of athlete that does quite well in his sport and requires some travel so he doesn't want to get tied down. Once again, it's been awhile so I don't remember the details. All I can say is one of the fun things about backcountry camping is visiting with the others at your site.

Part 1 to Pyramid Falls: [ youtube video ] to Mokowanis Lake Bench
Part 2 to Pyramid Falls: [ youtube video ] Bench to the Falls
Part 3 Pyramid Falls to Glenns Lake: [ youtube video ] to Mokowanis Lake
Part 4 Pyramid Falls to Glenns Lake: [ youtube video ] Mokowanis Lake to the campsite and around the campsite including the beach
Fauna
Fauna
Moose
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
7 archives
Jul 09 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Elizabeth Lake Head to Glenns Lake Head, MT 
Elizabeth Lake Head to Glenns Lake Head, MT
 
Backpack avatar Jul 09 2019
tibber
Backpack9.98 Miles 1,190 AEG
Backpack9.98 Miles   6 Hrs   42 Mns   1.98 mph
1,190 ft AEG   1 Hour   40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
July 9th, Day Three of Six: Woke up to several out of the ordinary things: slugs on my tent, snow on Seward and fog over Elizabeth Lake. First thot after picking the slugs off my tent; all the extra weight from a very wet tent as we would not have time to dry it out. Actually the conditions were not ripe for drying out anything for a couple hours. The air was very damp. We had a little breakfast and then packed up camp. We spoke a little with one of our camp mates as they would be heading our way as well. We would, in fact, see them the next day while we were day-hiking to Pyramid Falls. They said they had followed a black bear on the trail for awhile near the Falls.
Our hike today would be heading for Glenns Lake Head (GLH). We were lucky that we were able to get our permit changed to two nites at Glenns Head. Fortunately Tina had just backpacked this area with a group that did the Northern Traverse from Chief Customs to Kintla Lake last summer (56 miles in 7 days with a re-supply at Goat Haunt).


It was a bit buggy (mosquitoey) in the morning as we started on the trail. Everything was fresh smelling altho a tad damp. Fortunately, we would mostly be hiking alongside the lake or in the meadows. There were a few more waterfalls on Seward this morning and the Falls coming down from Natoas had a whole lot more water in them from last nite's rain so that was cool to see. The lake was very calm and very blue. We still had overcast skies with occasional bouts of sunshine. This would continue for most of our hike.

We stopped at Elizabeth Lake Foot to retrieve the rest of our food out of the Bearbox. So now we had that weight along with our wet tents. We visited a moment with some thru hikers (can't remember what route they were doing but I think CDT). They didn't get to camp until midnite last nite after a late afternoon start as they had difficult getting a ride to the Chief Customs TH. If I recall correctly they were hiking thru the tunnel and up Swiftcurrent Pass staying at Granite Park backcountry site (about 18 miles and two big climbs). It's always interesting to chat with folks along the trail. But we had to be on our way.

Next we stopped at Dawn Mist Falls for a bit as Tina rearranged her tent that she had in an outside pocket. It's a downhill hike from here as you make your way to the Belly River Bridge intersection. Just before there we saw the trail crew and mules across the river heading up to the Tunnel to blast it open. Shortly past here we encountered three older ladies from Whitefish that were headed to Helen from Cosley... at least I think it was Cosley. They said they had seen a bear or a moose (I waited too long to write this report). We didn't encounter any wildlife. We told them about the people-high and thick thimbleberry the other side of Elizabeth Lake Head.

Here to Cosley Cut-off was all new trail for both of us. It just kind of meandered with little ups and downs through the forest and stances of thimbleberry as well as Beargrass. We did get somewhat close to the Mokowanis River as we had now left the Belly River drainage but we didn't see it. It didn't seem too long and we could see the tops of the mountains thru the trees and then soon a slight opening indicated the lake was near. You make your way down to the lake outlet and there is a cable you can use to assist as the water has a pretty good flow. We decided this would be a great place for lunch so we hung our here for quite awhile. The lake and its surroundings were outstanding :y: .
Just before we were ready to mount up, less our boots and with our pants pulled up, a couple other hikers approached. I don't recall them taking off their boots though. Anyway, we let the one gal cross first, then Tina, then me and then the Red Bus driver teacher. The two gals were from Choteau. I got video of the crossing. The water was darn cold so when I got out, my toes almost got hot from the dramatic temperature change, ha!

Next up was the junction with the Stoney Indian Pass Trail (part of the Pacific Northwest Trail). We would go west as did the other gals. I think their reservation was at GLF. We would catch them again at the other side of Cosley Lake. This part of the trail is full of meadows too with a lake on one side and mountains to the left, right and in front of you. The trail was in nice condition. There were a group of older men hiking initially behind and then in front of me. I didn't get their full story but I think they were headed up the Pass for the day but then staying at Glenns Lake Foot (GLF). They were avid Glacier Park hikers from what I gathered. You know, I had time to make notes at the end of the day; I wish I had done so.

Once past Glenns Foot it was back into the forest for the rest of our trip to GLH. Just more thimbleberry and beargrass with occasional views of the mountains. Here is where we would encounter some elevation gain. We would also get a little bit of rain; enuf to pull our umbrellas out for awhile. We made pretty decent time considering we weren't in a hurry.

We got a nice tent site pretty much on the lake with a beach and everything :) . At the food court there were a couple other hikers who hadn't left for the day yet. They were just young men but provided somewhat interesting conversation. During the time I sat there enjoying a snack, there were a group of about 5 male hikers that passed by; a couple of them looked pretty spent. I don't know what their destination was but I hoped it was close by.

And soon our backcountry camping mates arrived, altho we didn't know it at the time. We would be camping two nites here and then again at Cosley Lake. David and Stacy are members of the Glacier Mountaineering Society. They actually lead hikes for the group. However, this trip they were attempting 3 different summits. They actually picked up and moved from the St Louis area a few years back just so they could be closer to Glacier Park and fulfill their mountaineering desires. David ended up helping me get my rope unwrapped from the Bear bar which wasn't easy, see the photo. Needless to say they were a very impressive couple. She was a teacher and he owned a very successful lawn service.

After dinner we just hung out at the lake watching the landscape including many waterfalls and a moose across the way.


Video 1 Elizabeth Lake Head to Belly River Bridge intersection (you get to see the loon swimming) [ youtube video ]
Video 2 Bridge to Cosley Lake Cutoff [ youtube video ]
Video 3 Crossing Cosley Lake outlet and then on Stoney Indian Pass Trail [ youtube video ]
Video 4 Kaina Creek to Glenns Lake head [ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Common Loon Moose
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
2 archives
Jul 08 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Elizabeth Lake Day, MT 
Elizabeth Lake Day, MT
 
Backpack avatar Jul 08 2019
tibber
Backpack3.45 Miles 493 AEG
Backpack3.45 Miles
493 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Partners none no partners
July 8th, Day Two of Six: Elizabeth Lake Foot (ELF) to Elizabeth Lake Head (ELH) with the thought of day-hiking up to Helen Lake. We took our time getting ready for our short hike up to Elizabeth Lake Foot. Our main hope is that it wouldn't be as buggy as it was here at the foot. Even when I was taking pictures of the lake on this sunny beautiful morning, you could see the skeeters in the video. I had my bug net on. We took only the food we would need for the day and morning and left the rest in the Bear Box with a note that we would be returning the following morning to retrieve it.

While we were having breakfast, the service dog we heard came running into the Food Court area. We were quite surprised that the dog was allowed to roam free but I guess that's better than being leashed up as bear bait and left at the tent site. The Glacier Guide fellow was in the process of making a very nice breakfast for his charges. We visited with all of them a bit more. A couple also passed through on their way back from Helen Lake campground. Only one of the Helen campsites was open due to snow cover and the bridge was washed out as well.


We finally loaded up and started on the trail. It's so nice to be able to hike next to the lake in the open for the most part altho you do go thru some forest. Right off the bat there is lots of Sitka Valerian and a big patch of Blue Stickseed; the biggest patch I had ever seen. And of course, high above you is Natoas Peak and the beautiful intensely blue water of Elizabeth Lake on the other side of you. (Elizabeth Lake named for one of Ranger Joe Cosley's girlfriends, Helen is one of the others; we would be below Sue the next day).

There were lots of wildflowers along the way, some I had not ever seen before. And as you look far to your left you can see the Ptarmigan Trail below Seward Mountain that leads to the Ptarmigan Tunnel which was slated to be opened July 12th. A crew would be heading up tomorrow to camp up there and blast it open. And now we would be hiking right on the beach for a bit and then back into the forest, back on the beach and our last trek thru the forest to the campground. As we were hiking on the beach I wondered if people had ever encountered a bear here as that would be an interesting scenario :scared: .

Once at camp we started looking for the food bar. We were looking high and did a couple circles before we finally saw it. It was a tall one! We were very careful not to wrap our skinny rope as retrieving it from there would not be an option. We went and set up our tents after looking at a couple different options that would accommodate both of our tents nicely. We had lunch and loaded up what we would need for our day hike to see Helen.

It was a little warm as we continued hiking thru somewhat high Thimbleberry Brush. We got to the one section that was absolutely people high and decided we just weren't in the mood to fight the brush for 2 1/2 miles and decided to head back to camp and spend the afternoon at Elizabeth Lake beach. We were also pretty tired from the previous day's hike. So we went back to camp, had some way too limey Margaritas from Packit Gourmet. While we were making our margaritas we got a brief glance at a very surprised marten that was coming across the little foot bridge. We then headed to the beach that was about 1/3rd of a mile to get you out of the forest.

Here we set up our camp chairs and enjoyed the beauty of the lake and the mountains. Plus there were some incredible waterfalls behind us that I got some great video of as the water tumbled down Natoas. It really was a glorious day :y: to spend here altho missing Helen Lake was definitely a disappointment but we just weren't up to it today. Not sure what time we headed back to make dinner. The weather was starting to close in on us after the dinner hour. I don't know what time our camp mates finally arrived. It seemed to take them awhile to set up their tents. I gave Tina a blow by blow play of their progress. I'm not sure they got to eat dinner before the rain started and never stopped. I filmed a little of the pitter patter on my tent, read a little and seemed to once again, fall fast to sleep in Glacier dream land.

Hike to Elizabeth Lake Head, a very beautiful hike: [ youtube video ]
around Elizabeth Lake Foot area and a little rain at the end of the day: [ youtube video ]
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Jul 07 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
The Belly River TrailNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2019
tibber
Hiking10.07 Miles 1,636 AEG
Hiking10.07 Miles   7 Hrs   11 Mns   1.72 mph
1,636 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Glacier National Park Backpack, Day One of Six - after packing and re-packing food for our 5 nite backpack, alas, my huckleberry beer would not be able to make the trip for today :( . Oh that pack was heavy, what's two days more of food, ha! After having a mediocre breakfast at best at Nell's (Swiftcurrent Motor Inn) we took both our vehicles to the TH as Tina would head north to Calgary and I would head east to Chester after we got back. There were a few vehicles at the TH and another couple was just heading in. We would have around 9 1/2 miles today with a nice part of it downhill.

At around 8:45 we finally were ready to go with our heavy packs aboard. It had rained the night before so it was a humid start on a slightly muddy trail through the thimbleberry forest and the forest. And so the bear calls begin. Six days of bear calling. It seemed Tina did most of that as I don't like to yell out when I'm filming. I try to make up for it when I'm not. The good thing about this time of year is the berries aren't out yet so the bears are mostly doing ground foraging. We did see moose tracks that we seemed to follow for quite awhile.

Fortunately, the first mile or so of the trail is on a wide tread so you got a chance to get your sea legs. It was nice to be in the shade for the first part of this hike because once we got down to the meadows, the shade would be less. In amongst the thimbleberry was other flora like loads of Yellow Angelica and some Milkweed. Other flora was scattered about as well. It seems like it takes awhile to get down this two mile stretch until the views to Sentinel and Bear Mountains finally reveal themselves. Part way down Tina took a fall and while it isn't normally that big of deal she was recovering from stitches on her knee so it was already tender. Nothing broke open so she was good to go but it was a scary moment.

At around the 2 mile mark you start into the first meadow and pass by the beaver pond which is usually good for a photo or two. It didn't seem as pretty as I remembered it. You continue a little in the meadow and then thru a grove of trees, which you do off and on and into another meadow. The problem with a lot of the trail down here is it's a bit rutty and now mucky from all the water. So sometimes you had to step off the trail to avoid slipping on the mud.

We would encounter hikers from time to time now that were on their way out. Some of them had been quite ambitious so we felt a little silly about the 10 miles we were doing; altho we were doing 5 nites so had heavy backpacks. Most of the other folks were probably a couple decades less old than us. We did enjoy our quick visits with people from all over the country and the world. I should have thot to record their stories. (A couple of young girls had come over Boulder Pass from the NW side of the park. That's 57 miles in 3 days over two passes and you can't camp up there right now. Another set I think came from Red Gap Pass over nite so 26 miles in 2 days). Most hikers, at this point, were hoping they were a little closer to the TH then they were.

A little past the 2 3/4 mile mark you get a little closer to the Belly River for about the next 3/4 of a mile. We took a break about 3 1/2 miles in just off the trail or about 1/2 way to Gable Campground where we would have our lunch. We continued in and out of the meadows and both of us remarked how we didn't recall so much of the little ups and downs. Tina had hiked it last year when they did the whole Northern Traverse. I had last hiked this trail on 7/7/2013. What are the odds that I would hike it on the same day EXACTLY 6 years later :o? At about the 3.8 mile mark you hit one of the big meadows and it was loaded with flowers, all kinds, all sizes. It made a nice foreground to Sentinel and Bear Mountains in the background across the river. It definitely had that "hills are alive" feel to it.

At the 4.4 mile mark you hike closer to the river again. There were lots of little drainages coming off the side of the Lee Ridge and they were all running pretty full and fast which would be the case for most of our trip. And by now, those tall looming mountains were coming into view all around you. It is just awe-inspiring :worthy: . I guess it would be equivalent to seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. We've seen it before but every time it's just breathtaking.

At exactly 6 miles we made the short detour into the permitted Gable Campground for our bathroom and lunch break at a little after 12:30. Gable is a big campground altho it's totally in the trees. After a pretty nice break we were off not knowing what was ahead of us as neither of us had been in the Belly River drainage. The clouds had rolled in again as we made our way around the cross-fenced Ranger Cabin area. In 2013 the flags were at half-mast in honor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who had lost their lives. Today the flag was flying high and free.

As we rounded the corner a bunch of tall yellow flowers lined each side of the trail. I'm guessing they were Groundsel. I should have studied the flora before I arrived but I had a lot going on before the trip and just didn't even think to do that. Fortunately I would remember some of them though not necessarily correctly. I was glad Tina seemed to like learning about the flora as well. But now, it was back into the forest for most of the rest of our hike. Once again you are surrounded by thimbleberry but a new surprise was beautiful stalks of fluffy Beargrass on each side of the trail for very long stretches. It was incredible. Little did we know we would be hiking with this for many miles up and down the Belly River and Mokowanis Drainages. So very cool :y: . So, if you don't like Beargrass with nice poofy heads, don't be watchin' my videos :lol: .

The trail was a bit mucky here and there again as well and your views were pretty much limited. About the 7 3/4 mile mark you reach the single hiker planked bridge across the Belly River. It is still a little nerve-wracking to cross those bridges over such long expanses. Tina knocked it out in fine style. I tried to film while crossing; what was I thinking. Anyway, once you're across you are at a major intersection as if you go right, N you will be going to the Mokowanis area but if you go left, S you will be going to the Belly River area (Elizabeth and Helen) and on the Ptarmigan Trail. We would be coming back this way but today, we were headed to visit Joe Cosley's Elizabeth Lake (named after one of his girlfriends).

You hike above the Belly River with occasional views to Gable Mountain. It's a pretty mountain because even though a good part of it is bare, it is very colorful. You can hear the river below you as you continue toward Dawn Mist Falls. We had discussed not taking the detour to the Falls because of our heavy pack but by the time we got there, we opted to do it at the 8.35 mile mark. Well that was a good decision as it's easy trail and a little over a tenth off of the main trail. And needless to say, it was really gushing. We could actually hear it long before we got there. So we admired the Falls as they came in and out of the sunlight.

You head back up the trail and are soon back at them again at eye level. Here is the only place we a couple hikers got ahead of us. I think they ended up at Helen Lake. Well we were almost to Elizabeth now as this is the half-way point between the bridge and Elizabeth Lake Foot. A couple more times you get close to the river. It was running pretty high and fast from all the storms that keep passing through this past spring and now summer. We had a short sideways rain storm at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn the previous evening. Less than a mile and 1/2 later we finally arrived at Elizabeth Lake. We placed our food in the storage box and then found a nice camp spot in the trees but with a slight view of the lake.

We headed back to the Food Prep area as it was Happy Hour time :) . Sadly the mosquitoes thought so too so they showed up in earnest. We had to get our bug nets and thank goodness we had them. I felt bad for those people who didn't as they apparently didn't do their Rx. One of the rangers at St Mary where we confirmed our permit said it was terrible and she wasn't kidding. You had to make sure your whole body was covered with something and also spray the bug spray heavily!!!

One of the Glacier Guides was there with a couple he had been guiding; it's his summer job and he's from Indiana. I'd say he was one of the older guides. He said this was one of his worst as the couple could hardly move (they were young) so it was a long haul down from Red Gap Pass where they had spent the nite at Poia Campground. Mind you, the guides carry all of the food and the stuff to make the food in. It was quite the operation he had. If it hadn't been so mosquitoey I would have filmed it. I think he was happy to be able to vent.

Next up was the ranger who had come to post signs that the Poia Campground was being closed due to bear activity. He let us know to pass along for folks that had reservations there that they could stay at the Ranger Station, a little over 3 miles away. There were a couple gals that came thru that ended up doing just that and fortunately they had a car at Chief TH. Earlier we would hear a dog when we were setting up camp but didn't know what quite to make of it as dogs are not allowed in the backcountry. The ranger had spoken to them and didn't seem happy about it at all. Well this couple came strolling in from their site and said it was a service dog. Ya right! They were very interesting to say the least. He was from Columbia. She was a part-time nanny and backpacked in-between.


Just a quick note, my camera gets knocked for shooting poorly in low light and sadly it didn't let me down in that regard. So some of the low light pics were a little out of focus. I need to remember that in the future.

from Chief TH toward Gable Campground: [ youtube video ]
last few miles toward Gable Campground thru the meadows: [ youtube video ]
from Gable toward Elizabeth Lake: [ youtube video ]
from almost the Belly River to Dawn Mist Falls: [ youtube video ]
Dawn Mist Falls to Elizabeth Lake: [ youtube video ]

By the way, Tina made a 6:30 video of our whole trip if you want a sneak preview of the whole backpacking trip in a nicely condensed version: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
average hiking speed 2.33 mph
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