Continental Divide Trail – Day 32

June 2, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 20.7 / 627.7

I was up early, but took some extra time getting around this morning. There was a heavy dew last night and everything was wet and had to be wiped down before packing away. I also bought a breakfast burrito in Abiquiu last night and warmed it up in the microwave in the bathhouse. Several of the other hikers were getting around when I packed up and I said my goodbyes and started down the trail.

The trail out of Ghost Ranch started as a gravel road but soon turned to a single track as it made it way up a box canyon. As you would expect as it neared the end of the canyon the trail turned steeply upwards and started making its way to the top of the canyon.

The climb out of the canyon was 1500’ over about three miles. The trail would climb steeply up a cliff band and then once on top, you would realize it was just a bench and there was more cliffs above. This repeated several times until I finally reached the plateau at the top.

From here the trail was two track for a couple more miles. As I reached a pond near the trail I noticed some CDT trail markers on a tree and fence post. This route was not on the far out app but appeared to be cutting back to the official CDT “red line”. Looking at the map it appeared to be shorter so I followed the markers back to the “red line”.

The trail from here was a nice single track that had a gradual climb over the next few miles. It turned to a rough two track and I followed that to the northern junction to the Ghost Ranch Alternate. My “shortcut” was actually a mile longer than the alternate route would have been. Shortly before the junction I was able to collect some very good Spring water from a farm tank.

After passing the junction the trail began to get hard to follow. It would cut across open meadows and intersecting cow paths were difficult to distinguish from the trail. Additionally the trail was muddy in places and I had to navigate around some of the worse spots.

The trail alternated between open meadow, brush, and forested areas. It was slowly making it way up Mogote Peak. I found a nice camping spot just short of the top and set up my tent and cooked dinner. As the sun dipped in the sky the temperature started dropping fast. I climbed in my tent and covered up with my sleeping to keep warm while writing this blog.

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