Day 18, 8/3, 27mi (M-403): Elk Creek Pond

Woke up to a cool, damp, overcast morning. Most of today’s miles were going to be above treeline between 12,200 and 12,900’.

There was a giant bull moose grazing around this pond (his girlfriend is in the willows to the left). I saw a total of 5 moose today !

Not sure the name of this peak, but it seem to be glowing on the horizon.

A big fat yellow marmot.

Most of the day looked like this with occasional mist, spit or light rain. The sun popped out for a brief appearance a couple times as well.

One of the more elaborate cairns marking the trail.

This is how I roll when the rain picks up…luckily it wasn’t windy.

The mighty San Juan’s.

I might need to get some lamas to carry my stuff next time 😉

The trail is just about to turn and drop into the Elk Creek gorge before it joins the Animas River.

Still some wildflowers hanging on.

One last marmot pic.

An impressive bit of trail construction through the gorge.

After several thousand feet of descending there was a perfect campsite next to a pond…there are even three deer feeding on the far side.

Day 17, 8/2, 19mi (M-376): Near Carson Saddle

It was nice sleeping in a bit today…6:15 🙂
I strolled down to the Lake City Bakery and figured it must be good based on the line…then I realized to they could only fit three people in the store at a time (it was still good!).

Around 9:15 I hitched a ride back up the mountain to Spring creek Pass. Janet and Mike were a nice older couple who have lived in Lake City for 40yrs., although their little Honda Civic wasn’t breaking any speed records going up Slumgullion Pass they got me to the trailhead safe and sound!

The right side of the V-notch in the background is San Luis Peak that we climbed a couple days ago.

I Hiked past a bunch of sheep today. Between the landscape and the bleating it kind of felt like Ireland.

This was the only water source of the day until I got to camp.

Most of the day the trail was at elevations over 12,500’…a treeless barren tundra. Thankfully, the weather held out.

This is peak is called Redcloud.

You’d think it would be all downhill from here :-/

I got to a great campsite around 6:00 and I had enough time to eat and relax before the rain came around 8pm. At 7:30 Albert rolled in (he hitched out of town an hour after me)… unfortunately, he didn’t get his tent setup before the rain.