Continental Divide Trail – Day 24

May 25, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 22.7 / 466.9

I was up, packed, and checking out by 6:30 this morning. It was a 6.5 mile roadwalk out of town. The trail went by a state prison and the “do not pick up hitchhikers” signs probably don’t make it easy for hikers to get a ride into town.

I ate breakfast at the trailhead and then began the single track trail up to the mesa. The view of Grant’s from the mesa was superb and I took a few minutes to enjoy it. The trail continued across the mesa heading for Mount Taylor. Their was some open prairie as well as pine forest on the mesa and the trail was in good condition.

When I reached the junction with the Mt. Taylor alternate I turned down the forest road for Mt. Taylor. There was a water tank on the road and I filled up my bottles there along with several other hikers. Back on the trail it soon turned to single track and began ascending upwards. The grade was fairly gradual at first and I was able to sustain a moderate pace. As it neared a saddle it became very steep and I was having to stop to catch my breath several times.

After the saddle the grade decreased some, but I had to slow my pace to keep a constant climb. Once again as I neared the top, I was having to stop to catch my breath.

The view from Mt. Taylor was fantastic and I took some pictures, rested for a bit, and then began the descent down the other side. This side of the mountain was pine forest and there was still some snow covering the trail in places. I made slow progress through this area but about 1/4 mile down the snow cleared off and I was able to make better time.

The trail wasn’t all downhill though as it joined a forest road and began climbing up to another mountain top with a huge array of communication towers. It didn’t go to the top and soon I was making my way downhill again. I found a nice campsite with a great view of the valley below and setup for the night. I fixed dinner, ate, and then climbed in my tent to catch up in my post and video edits.

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