Continental Divide Trail 2016: day 7

Check out this magical dreamland of colorful wildflowers!

My brother and I spent most of the day wondering if Brad really did take the wrong turn going down the mountain...after six hours of searching and wondering we found out that he did indeed walk the wrong trail and wrong direction most of the day.  The upside was that we hit this gorgeous valley of flowers in the evening, when the light was sweet...

And all at once the CDT joined up with the Colorado Trail and we started seeing fancy, new trail markers and other humans.

Nearing our evening camping place.

Continental Divide Trail 2016: days 8-9

We donned our rain jackets on and off probably at least seven times this day.  Above 11,000 feet, the July thunderstorms in Colorado come fast and pack a punch.

Temperature and precipitation change means frequent gear change.

Before getting up to this pass- accessible to ATVs and trucks along a forest service trail, we saw a few moose in the valley.

High point along the Colorado Trail at 13,271 feet.  From here it was all downhill to Spring Creek Pass, our endpoint.


The Rae Lakes Loop

BT on Bubbs Creek Trail


Nearing the top of the pass...

Our crew atop Glenn Pass - the high point of our trip of 11,978 feet

Descending down from Glen Pass to Rae Lakes through the snow...

Descending down Paradise Valley 

We just saw a bear a few yards away from us before crossing this bridge.

Fun with fire light...


At Rae Lakes

When we were hiking along the PCT/JMT in 2010, as I came across the beautiful basin of Rae Lakes, I was struck with a tinge of remorse that we couldn't take the time to spend an entire day or days or weeks at this magical high sierra playground - but we needed to get up and over Mt Whitney before running entirely out of food.  Last June I had the opportunity to return to Rae Lakes and we spent a couple nights there - watching the granite change colors during the course of the day and encouraging each other to plunge into the frigid lakes as often as we could.

gettin' into the water...

We all swam to one of the islands in this lake.

The boys were totally exhausted from our elevation gain the day before.