Continental Divide Trail – Day 66
July 28, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 22.5 / 1135.3
I woke up to a wet tent this morning. I heard some sprinkling on the tent last night, but it was mainly the inside that was wet from condensation. I got around pretty quick because I knew this was going to be a big day.
The trail started with a slight ascent up the side of the mountain, crossed a ridge, and then began a pretty long descent toward Rainbow Road & Falls River. I crossed the river on the road bridge and then started up the South James Peak Trail.
This was a 4 mile, 3000+ ft. climb. The trail had some steep areas at first, but turned to a more gradual climb for about half the elevation. The trail then crossed a high meadow with little elevation change. Reaching the other side of the meadow it was a steep climb to the peak. I got to the top and found a place to sit and rest for awhile. I think I took a marmot’s lookout point as he kept checking to see if I was still there.
Getting back on the trail it was a steep descent of about 1,000’ and then the trail began following the ridge line of the Continental Divide. There were many great views into the valleys below. One of my favorites was iceberg lakes which was still partially frozen.
The ridge line was very rocky and the trail was not well defined. It really turned into a walk from cairn to cairn for the next 6 miles to Rollins Pass. I took a few minutes to read the history of the pass on the kiosk signs before moving on.
Their was a forest fire near Devil’s Thumb in early July and the trail is closed for a fire closure. I turned down King Lake Trail and descended down to Jasper Creek. I then took the Devil’s Thumb trail back up toward Jasper Lake, and finally the Diamond Lake Trail to where I ended up camping for the night.
It was a long day with some big elevation gains and my body is sore tonight. I’m looking forward to a goods night sleep and an easier day tomorrow.