Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Another small change

I've been giving it some more thought.  I am concerned that we're biting off more than we can chew with the notion of hiking up over Bald Mountain to Red Castle and then along the Highline Trail to Deadhorse Lake and back out again to the East Fork Blacks Fork Trailhead in the time frame that I've allocated.  So, I'm now thinking of breaking that up into two trips from two trailheads.

I'm assuming (for the time being) that I'll still do things in the same order I was going to do them initially; i.e., I'll arrive in Vernal on Sunday evening, drive out to Mirror Lake on Monday, and stay Monday on the Mirror Lake side of things.  Although there is an official campground at EFBF TH that it might be worthwhile to stay in on Monday night so I don't have to get up early and drive for two hours on terrible dirt roads before starting.  Better to do that Monday late afternoon after exploring the Mirror Lake environs a bit.

For what it's worth, I can reverse the order of the East and West trips, if desired.  But I don't believe that the "Further West" trip is likely to move.

East Trip
  • Tuesday:  Get up and hit the trail as early in the morning as is feasible.  Hike up over Bald Mountain.  Get to at least Lower Red Castle Lake by evening.  This is a fairly strenuous and long day.
  • Wednesday: Hike up to Upper Red Castle Lake and over "Wilson Pass".  Go over Squaw Pass as well; camp in the next area.
  • Thursday: Hike back to EFBF TH.  
West Trip
  • Thursday (after doing the earlier Thursday activities of the East Trip): Drive to West Fork Blacks Fork TH and make camp somewhere in Buck Pasture, or as far up the trail as I can feasibly get that evening.
  • Friday: Hike in to Dead Horse Lake.  Explore the Dead Horse Basin.
  • Saturday: Go over Red Knob Pass to see Crater Lake.  Hike back to the car by evening to drop my brother off. Not sure where to camp yet.  Christmas Meadows?  This is a potentially very long day and Friday is potentially short one.  I might be able to get over Red Knob to Crater Lake Friday night.  Maybe.  If it looks like I'm biting off more than I can chew, I can ax Crater Lake, although I hope not to need to do that.  I'd really like to see it.
An image I found of Crater Lake.  I highly desirable destination that might end up getting the ax.
Further West Trip
  • Sunday: Hike up to Ryder or McPheter Lake and set up camp in Middle Basin.  Explore as time allows.
  • Monday.  Continue exploring Middle Basin until about lunchtime or so.  Hike back to car and drive back to Vernal.


  1. I'm actually tempted to reverse the order of the East and West trips. Either way, I think it may be a bit challenging to be back at the car at a decent time on Saturday evening.

  2. In fact... I'm tempted to cut my trips down from three to two. Do Dead Horse with my brother, and have more time to explore, and then do Red Castle after he leaves. Middle Basin has to wait on another year.

    Sigh. That might be for the best, though. Neither one of us wants to feel rushed.