Date: July 28-29, 2018
Distance: 25.2 miles
Elevation gain: 6,595 ft
Two weekends ago, Brandon and I made it out to the Raggeds Wilderness near Crested Butte. Although it took a little persuasion on my part, to make the long drive (4.5 hours with good traffic, turned to 5.5 hours because of rainy weather and usual Denver weekend traffic) it was so SO WORTH IT.
This trail was a challenge with all of its steep, never-ending climbs but the pay off was spectacular. Over 2 days we managed to hike just over 25 miles, climb over 2 passes, enjoy a beautiful mountain lake to ourselves, withstand a couple rain showers and a crazy thunderstorm, summit 1 peak, witness a stunning sunrise, and climb along an exposed ridge.
Date: July 28, 2018
Distance: 13 miles
Elevation gain: 4,513 ft
Departing time: 7:30 am
Finishing time: 5:30 pm
Moving time: 6 hours 25 minutes
Day one started off in among the trees, slowly gaining elevation for about 7 miles. We started early enough in the day that I had the chance to play with more fun, morning light while Brandon and I talked about how beautiful it would be there in the fall. During these 7 miles we stopped twice to quickly set up our tent and throw our bags, camera, dog, and selves inside to avoid morning rain showers.
After our last stop, the sky looked clear and we made the push up and over Oh-Be Joyful Pass. From there the trail went steeply downhill into a beautiful valley filled with small running streams. As we hiked our final 3 miles, the sky grew dark again and we raced our final mile up to Blue lake just in time to get in our tent before a massive thunderstorm. We didn't even have time to anchor down our tent before it started pouring. We jumped in and spent the next hour holding down the fort while the storm passed.
Once the rain stopped, we emerged from the tent to explore around the lake. I spent time taking photos while Brandon got supper ready and refilled our water supply. Then we were off to bed so that we could get an early start the next morning.
Date: July 29, 2018
Distance: 12.2 miles
Elevation gain: 2,082 ft
Departing time: 4:50 am
Finishing time: 11:50 pm
Moving time: 5 hours 35 minutes
The crazy person I am, required that we got up at 4am to pack our bags in the complete dark and hike up the steepest climb of our trip to reach the top of Garfield Peak for sunrise. We reached the top at 6am and waited as the sun slowly came over the mountains. To my disappointment, the clouds covered the sun until it had come completely over the mountains, but the views were still spectacular and our entire climb across Scarp Ridge was lit with amazing morning light.
From there we headed down and back towards our car. We descended to Irwin lake, chatted with a few passing campers and continued our way down Dyke trail to our car.