Jul 8, 2011 at 4:49 am #1276453Jul 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm #1757249
@djaaronreedLocale: Central Rockies
Your trip reports always give me ideas of where to explore in the LCW. I was actually going to head up to the Box Canyon trail this next Monday, time/commitments permiting. Thanks for the report!Jul 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm #1757297
Yeah, Aaron. This one is classic LCW, but off the beaten path. Be careful around that second crossing, especially if you're traveling solo and the weather remains wet. There are many holes a person could fall into….Jul 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm #1757317
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
If I must live vicariously, let it be through you, Dondo.Jul 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm #1757321
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Another round of great shots! Thanks for taking me places I've never seen.
ToddJul 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm #1757383
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
Great report as always Dondo. I am hoping to get up to Colorado in late August. One of my goals is to explore that canyon. Its beginning to sound like the Burmuda Triangle. I had to turn around at more or less the same spot in 09. I did a trip report on it with a few pictures, sounds like the same place.Jul 9, 2011 at 5:48 am #1757434
Tom, thanks. That's a great thing to say. To be honest, there were times during the trip when I felt I was in a bit over my head. But I'm glad I was able to turn the experience into something entertaining.
Glad you enjoyed the photography, Todd. It was more challenging this time because both golden hours were rained out. Fortunately, the cloud cover compensated by killing the contrast and giving the landscape a more soft even look.
I really like your Bermuda Triangle analogy, Luke. Through the forums I know of several hikers who got stopped where I did. At the same time, Ringtail and Kevon, and Keith, another hiker who has written to me, have found their way out of the box canyon. And as mentioned in the report, I got in and out of it back in May, though I can't remember how I did it.
A word of caution to anyone hiking the canyon. There is a real possibility of falling in several places along the route, especially in wet weather. Be careful out there.Jul 9, 2011 at 6:07 am #1757440
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
You're right Dondo, I talked to one hiker who said you could get through there but he said the trail was hard to find (especially coming from the north) and that it was a Class III scramble with a lot of explosure. Until now he was the only one I'd heard of who claimed to have gone all the way up that canyon. I agree I would not want to fall there.Jul 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm #1758699
Do you carry bear spray when hiking in the LCW? or in any other parts of the front range for that matter?
ThanksJul 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm #1759023
Hi Eric, there was one trip when I hiked the Gore Range Trail from north to south that I carried bear spray. It was a year when there were lots of reports of human/bear clashes because the normal food supply was scarce. One mountain biker reported an aggressive bear close to where I would be walking. Sure enough, I surprised a bear at close range and got the drop on him. We stared at each other for a long second, then I started to hike on and he crashed his way up the mountainside.
The only other time I carried bear spray was on a trip to Alaska.
My feeling is that the bears here want to avoid us even more than we want to avoid them. These days I use trekking poles almost all the time, and I think the bears can hear me coming.Jul 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm #1759103
Thanks for the insight Dondo, as I look at all the every item I carry, I always wonder if the bear spray is necessary in the Colorado Rockies. I began carrying it when I first started backpacking because my friends said I needed too. I keep a clean camp, have good food storage, and use poles as well. The more I read, the more it makes me think it is unnecessary around here, I will put the bear spray on the shelf until I visit northern Wyoming, Montana, or Alaska.
Most of my trips are in the Roosevelt National Forest because it is so close, I am trying to get to the Lost Creek Area though. Really like your trip reports and blog, nice work, and helpful.Jul 25, 2011 at 9:23 am #1762814
Dondo, I'm trying to determine where you got stopped. I made it to the point where you are heading down the left side of the creek for a while, and you have to step over a hole in the trail that disappears under a big rock, then you cross to the right side. Shorty after that you have to cross the rocks going straight downstream. That's where it got too iffy to continue with my dog. It sounds like you went past that? I don't think I'd have done even the last one we did in the rain. The consequences of a mistake could be pretty bad. Here's a pic of the last crossing we did. That's my dog tied up on the other side while I went back to get his pack. I didn't want it catching in a narrow spot and knocking him off balance.
I've been working a ton and knew I could only get out this weekend for 2 days. As I was falling asleep Friday night I thought maybe I should leave the dog home and go try the canyon again. But I decided not to try again solo. When I got up in the morning I checked in here and saw this thread. Pretty much confirmed the decsion not to go alone. I ended up just doing a semi-loop of Ben Tyler, Craig Park, Brookside-McCurdy. That area is a lot different than the rest of LCW with very little in the way of rock formations. I didn't see anybody up there and from the looks of the trail, it doesn't get much use. Here's a pic of the trail:
And here's one of the valley:Jul 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm #1763373
Randy, you're right. The crossing there is pretty dicey. After you get across, you pick up a hint of a trail and then cross back and drop into the place where you can see my camp at the head of the box canyon. On my Refrigerator Gulch trip, I dropped into the same place from the opposite direction. The photos titled Canyon through the mountain goat photos were all taken in the same area.
Normally, I'm a fairly conservative hiker. That day was out of character for me. Since then, I've promised my wife and myself that next time I encounter a similar situation, I'll just turn around.
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