Rawlins to Battle Pass

15 June 2016 - 05:53:49 PM

I did this is a weird order, I went southbound from Rawlins out to Battle Pass first,and hitched back to Rawlins. Then I hiked out from Rawlins northbound through the Great Divide Basin.

I came up to Wyoming because now was a good (wet and cool) time to hit these two sections where water is usually somewhat scarce. Starting out to Battle Pass I followed an alternate road from near my hotel out to the main highway. What I didn't realize is that the road was heding to the Wyoming State Penitentary and I believe I may have been tresspassing onto their grounds for some of the hiking...they didn't shoot so thats a good thing.

It was a surprisingly nice section. I had been out this way last year after getting injured I was doing 'Trail Magic' around the Rawlins areas. It was actually on this road that my car was totalled when I was heading out to cache water for some hikers last year. Last year, I was here in late summer, and everything was brown, this year there was so much green it was aa plesant surprise. As this section was a road for the most part it was a fairly easy grade to hike and I one nice thing about much of Wyoming is if you climb up even a little you get some great views.

The downside with walking on the road is that often its private land on either side...so where do you camp? Beneath the road,there are occasionally some tunnels that let water drain across and are used by ranchers moving cattle.

Let me say, it was surprisingly quiet under here, even as some semi's would pass over I hardly heard a thing, and it made a decent little campsite. 

The next day I was surpsied to start encountering snow, I had figured it would mostly be melted, but I guess as you gain altitude its bound to stick around. Don't let the picture fool you that snow drift was taller than I was.

The snow for this day wasn't too bad as I could usually walk around it or over it pretty easily. I eventually setup camp in a open range with cattle, they mostly left me alone until the morning. I started heading animals walking around my tent, decided to stick my head out and see what it was and there was a nice cow staring right at me a couple feet away. It looked quite surprised that something was in this 'thing' on their field, as soon as I moved the few cattle in the area ran away. Great way to start the morning.

This day was to be the start of the hike up to Battle Pass, so no more road and a lot more snow. Started off alright, found some unexpected water, and made a good pace. Problem was, I took the wrong route and ended up a couple miles off trail and had to bush wack through cold snow melt back onto the trail. As I gained elevation and entered more tree cover the snow increased. Getting to a point where I was post-holing most of the time. This wouldn't have been so bad if there were not also a number of downed trees hidden by the snow. One time when I broke through the snow my foot slipped between some branches and I fell forward. Had I not caught myself with my trekking poles I'm firly sure I would have ended up brekaing my ankle. So, the snow travel become much less enjoyable as I had that thought stuck in my head. It was a nice change from New Mexico though.



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