Day 37 - view after view after view (26.9 miles)
June 15, 2021
Miles: 26.9 miles
I really got to sleep in since I was 1.5 mile away from the Monarch Pass store and they didn’t open until 8am.
Had a little white hair fox hanging around my campsite this morning. It kept running off every time I tried to take a picture of it.
Arrived at the pass around 7:30am, just in case they opened early which they did. Grab some breakfast and a few things for the road. Didn’t need much since I’m heading into town tomorrow afternoon.
Had a nice climb out of the pass and found myself on a ski slope, Monarch Mountain.
From there I just kept going up and up. It wasn’t too bad as I got lots and lots of great views.
Made it over to the other side and had even better views.
Since I had come up so high I had to go down into the valley. It was very steep and the trail was covered in those little rocks that I like to slip on, which I did. Didn’t hurt myself and was able to stay on trail rather than slide down the mountain.
On the way down I passed a lot of alpine lakes. Then right before the bottom I got stop by a forest server worker. They were cutting down trees and needed to get to a stopping point before I can go.
Then at the bottom of the valley I took my lunch break right next to the middle fork of the Arkansas River.
After my long break I had a long uphill to Chalk Creek Pass. I started off and was confused as I started switch backing up which my map didn’t show. It appeared they had just finished this trail to avoid a road walk.
As I was heading up the pass there were gray clouds starting to roll in off to the east. I was heading north and was looking at blue skies so I kept going.
At the top of the pass I got another amazing view. Didn’t want to hang out long in case it started storming.
I started the decent to a nice size lake where I saw someone fishing. At the other end of the lake were new CDT signs. The only issue was the sign pointing north was different than my map but like several miles back they had made a new trail. The notes in my app about this new trail says it avoids heading down to the valley and the road. I figured this was a good idea, it was not.
The trail was nice for about a mile then it just kind of disappeared. I tried following footprints in the muddy but that just got me more off trail. I tried to take a shortcut over the mountain. Then finally got back on trail, probably added at least a mile to my day.
Once back on trail I was on an old railroad bed heading up the mountain. Right at where it ends I took a quick dinner break as I didn’t have much daylight left and still had some climbing today.
Once back on the ridge the sun was starting to set so got more great views. I kept going in and out of these bowls until finally I headed into the woods for the last 1.5 miles for the day right at 9pm. I had just enough light and a very well maintain trail that I didn’t use my headlamp until the last half mile.
Found the first flat spot I could as there was at least 1 person camping in the area.
15 miles and I get to relax.