NOT Epic: Catherine Pass


Hiker Trash
Jan 4, 2015
[I owe this forum at least one TR - a really cool route I hiked in the Absarokas in August. But since I've been working on that writeup for two months and it still sucks, for now I'll just post a quick-hitter of a trip I did last summer. One might call it a NOT-Epic. Or a Sub-24. Or a microadventure. Or whatever.]

I drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon after work on a Friday evening with two friends. For one, it was her first time backpacking. Of course, I've got enough backpacking stuff to outfit two people, so gear was no issue. A couple of us had to work late (you know, the typical Friday Catastrophe hit about 3:30 in the afternoon), so we didn't get to the trailhead until about 7:00.

It was most definitely the Golden Hour and we hiked up Catherine Pass with the sun setting at our backs.

We hiked about a mile, perhaps a mile and a half, and set up camp on a flat-ish bench a couple hundred feet below the pass. We set up our shelters just as it got too dark to comfortably see. I took the opportunity to test out my new backpacking shelter for the first time. Also for the first time in probably four years, I brought a stove backpacking and we made chicken burrito-type things with cheese and barbecue sauce. A few barley pops may have been consumed as well.

The next morning, we woke up, discovered that a couple beverages had escaped last night's massacre, and promptly partook in one of the finest camping traditions of all time - the breakfast beer. We packed up camp and hiked the last few hundred feet to Catherine Pass itself.


The views from the top of the pass were pretty alright.


We decided to dump our packs there, light as they were, and take a brief side trip up Mt. Tuscarora


We dropped down to the pass, picked up our packs, and ambled to the car. We got there by about 10:00 AM. It was only fifteen hours in the wilderness, but we got to eat a good meal, sleep in a killer campsite, hang out with friends, and climb a mountain. There were no ferocious storms, no hungry bears, no sketchy snow travel, no bagging of ultraprominent peaks. But you know what? It was fun and pretty and that's what counts. Hopefully we get a few more NOT-Epics posted here!

Thanks to @wsp_scott for the inspiration to post this.
I just like reading trip reports. Good pictures and ideas of new places to explore.

Thought the whole point was that all adventures are welcome and no one is trying to 'epic' their way into the history books here and this is a good thing as it is.

Not saying I'd be rushing to the site if it starts filling up with grandpa's wild rv experience in Jellystone or a report on how my new playlist got me past the crux of my four mile dayhike through the forest preserve, but really they're all interesting in their own right and have something unique to offer so why diminish them, tounge in cheek or otherwise, by ranking their epicness or lack thereof at all.
Beautiful area, not sure why I inspired the post, but I'm happy to take credit :)
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
NorthwestWanderer The Bailey Range Traverse | An 8 Day Olympic National Park Epic Backpacking 15
Ugly the NOT epic- Overnighter by Guardsman Pass- June 2017 Backpacking 16
Bob Little Colorado River Gorge - Epic Canyon Hike, some Pics Backpacking 4
Tye Dye Twins An Epic Week and an Epic Start to 2015! Winter Sports 10
Dave B. Uintas Epic Adventure Trip Planning 5
Dan Epic Flash Floods - Top 5 Places to Watch the Mayhem General Discussion 11
Ugly Oh Catherine, A Quick Night, Beautiful Dawn Backpacking 2
natylka Catherine's Pass to Sunset Peak Raining Day-August 2014 Hiking & Camping 5
Nick Catherine Pass, Sunset Peak & Brighton Lakes Hiking & Camping 7
Tye Dye Twins Catherine's Pass, Dry Fork, to Helicopter Hill Winter Sports 7
Tyler Little Cottonwood Canyon hiking: Catherine Pass to Grizzly Gulch July 2007 Hiking & Camping 2
scatman Yellowstone's Thorofare, Headwaters of Thorofare Creek, Majo Pass, Younts Peak, Bob's Canyon, and Cub Creek - August 9, 2023 - Days 7 through 10 Backpacking 34
scatman Yellowstone's Thorofare, Headwaters of Thorofare Creek, Majo Pass, Younts Peak, Bob's Canyon, and Cub Creek - August 9, 2023 - Days 1 through 6 Backpacking 56
balzaccom Desolation: Rockbound Pass Backpacking 0
Outdoor_Fool Brooks Range trek - Anaktuvuk Pass to the Haul Road - Cancelled Flight - last minute change-up Backpacking 21
shredhiker YNP Fawn Pass to Sportsman, Crescent, Shelf Lake Backpacking 18
uintafly Chepeta Lake to Hayden Pass Trip Planning 0
shredhiker YNP Fawn Pass to Sportsman & Crescent Lake Trip Planning 14
P Season Backcountry Pass at Yellowston General Discussion 9
marquiri Wind River Range - Angel Pass Trip Planning 24
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking Grand Teton National Park : Fossil Pass,Fox Creek Pass,Indian Lake,Alaska Basin,Hurricane Pass,Ice Floe Lake,& Snowdrift Lake Backpacking 19
Mikjik86 Another Wind River Trip Planning! Elkhart/Titcomb/Knapsack/Shannons Pass loop back to Elkhart, or continue to Green River Lakes Trailhead? Trip Planning 10
TeamJenkins17 Bonneville Pass - August 2021 Hiking & Camping 6
TeamJenkins17 Looking for info on Clark Creek drainage/Pierpont Pass into Hidden Basin in the Washakie Wilderness Trip Planning 5
C Dinwoody/Bonney Pass Summer Conditions Trip Planning 1
BackpackingtheSierras Republic Pass Trail North Absaroka into Yellowstone Cache Creek and Lamar River Trip Planning 1
marmot_boi Hailey Pass-Cirque of The Towers loop Backpacking 14
NorthwestWanderer Washingtons Okanogan National Forest : PCT/grass hopper pass Backpacking 7
fossana Wire Pass fire (impacting House Rock Rd/Buckskin Gulch) Trip Planning 3
SteveR Blueberry Hill and West Elk Pass, Alberta Winter Sports 1
b.stark Wrangell-St Elias "Seven Pass Route" Backpacking 29
NorthwestWanderer Route Finding adventure, Copper Pass to Blue Lake - Goats, Bears, Lions, Oh my! Backpacking 3
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking the Pasayten Wilderness : Harts Pass, PCT, Windy Pass, Buffalo Pass, Foggy Pass, Jim Pass, Hulman Pass & Rock Pass Meadows Backpacking 3
Perry July 14th Dead Horse Pass Recon Trip Hiking & Camping 10
NorthwestWanderer Dayhike to Gothic Basin & Foggy Pass Hiking & Camping 1
RyanP Texas Pass (Winds) in late July Trip Planning 23
S Washakie: E. Dunoir Creek - Shoshone Pass Info Trip Planning 13
woodmaker_58 Table Mt to Hurricane Pass/ Teton Crest Trail Trip Planning 5
NorthwestWanderer Overnighter in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness : Ingalls Pass and Lake Ingalls Backpacking 9
Rockskipper Snowshed on Red Mountain Pass, Colorado, 3-16-19 General Discussion 7
NorthwestWanderer Washington - 4x4 to Bear Lake & Little Deer Pass Off Road 0
Born to Hike Windriver 36 mile loop: Skull Lake, Washakie Pass, South Fork Lakes, Lizard Head Trail, The Cirque, Big Sandy Lake Backpacking 6
Mikjik86 Backpacking Four Pass Loop Backpacking 2
NorthwestWanderer Copper Pass, North Cascades (Day Hike + Bear sighting) Hiking & Camping 1
Burrito Winds - Pole Creek -> Lester Pass -> Island Lake / Titcomb -> Hobbs Backpacking 7
piper01 Glacier National Park, Part 2: Siyeh Pass (Sept 2017) Hiking & Camping 2
Perry What's this new tower on Bald Mountain Pass? General Discussion 13
pstm13 Texas Pass Cirque of Towers Lower Wind River Range August 2018 Trip Planning 7
stevecochranephotography Wire Pass Trail - Buckskin Gulch, Utah Hiking & Camping 1
powderglut New "23"Destinations Ski Area Pass "Ikon Pass" General Discussion 1

Similar threads