Teton Wilderness Loop - August 6, 2022

scatman

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This report is a complement to @Bob's wonderful write-up Teton Wilderness - 50 Miles of High Country.

Originally this was supposed to be a trip to the Beartooths, where we had hoped to complete a lollipop loop into the teeth of the Tooths so to speak. Unfortunately, mother nature had other ideas with the flooding and subsequent damage that cut off access to Cooke City through the Park. We turned to option number 2, the Teton Wilderness.

The loop was roughly fifty miles in length, though with Bob's back and forth along the ridges we may have done closer to sixty. :) No, Bob was our navigator, and he did a tremendous job - other than the horse trails from hell that is. :D He kept me from wandering down a few unnamed drainages, which isn't an easy thing to do.

This is our story:

Brooks_Lake_Loop_Final.jpg

Trip overview map


Day 1 - Dunoir Trail Trailhead to ridge above Trail Creek - 5.7 Miles

Before we get to the trail, lets chat about the ride up to Jackson and beyond.

The forecast for the area, according to @Rockskipper, was for rain and more rain. Wonderful!

As I exited onto Highway 89 south of Willard, Utah, I could tell that it had been raining earlier. When I made my way up Sardine Canyon, the rain began in earnest, and by the time I hit Logan, it was coming down hard. My wiper blades on the Sube could barely keep up with it. Once in Logan Canyon, the force subsided some, but I had rain all the way to Jackson, where I was to meet Bob for lunch at Big Hole BBQ. After downing a couple of pulled pork sandwiches while watching it rain, we took off for our trailhead just east of Brooks Lake.

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Afton, Wyoming

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Alpine, Wyoming - no let up in the precipitation

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On the Forest Service Road to Brooks Lake - Bob in the lead.

Arriving at the trailhead, we caught a break as the steady rain became just a drizzle, and then stopping before we headed down the trail.

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Getting ready in the mud at the trailhead

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Signage at the trailhead. We'd finish up on this trail in six days, but for now we would be heading in the opposite direction.

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Day 1 overview map.

While it had stopped raining, the trail was a muddy mess as we headed west towards the meadows along Brooks Lake. To make matters worse, a horse train had just passed to beat up the trail extra good for us.

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A bad picture, but that is a mule looking down at us. It was part of the horse train that came up the trail just before we went down. Besides, an out-of-focus mule beats an in-focus Scatman any day! :D

It became apparent pretty early on that this was going to be slow slog. The mud was sticking to our shoes/boots with every step. Slipping and sliding was the name of the game this afternoon and evening.

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Our first ford, Bonneville Creek

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Bob, contemplating a future of mud, with unnamed peak 10681 in the distance

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Looking back to the south towards Brooks Lake and surrounding meadows

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Some blue sky at Upper Brooks Lake. Don't worry, it won't last. :)

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Part of the CDT at this point

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Reaching the Wilderness Boundary

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Deer were plentiful the first three days

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A couple more further up the trail

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Typical trail conditions on Day 1

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Beautiful scenery

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Bob hanging in there like the trooper he is.

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Cub Creek. Just after fording this, and beginning to climb the ridge, it began to rain

While our original plan was to reach Trail Creek for the night, we ended up camping high on the ridge due to darkness setting in
and it just pouring rain.

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Making our way up the ridge, looking down on Cub Creek, with Breccia Peak above

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Aargh! Tough hill in the mud.

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Beautiful sunset on and off the trail. This was near where we called it quits for the day. We set up camp and ate our supper in the
rain.



Day 2 - Ridge above Trail Creek to Lake Creek and Pendegraft Meadow - 9.7 Miles


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Day 2 overview map

It rained off and on throughout the night, but by the time we woke the next morning it had stopped and was replaced by mostly blue skies. Now while it had stopped raining, that didn't mean that the trail was in any better condition than it was on day one - still just a muddy mess. Because we had come up short on our campsite the previous day, we had to add about a mile and a half to today's mileage. Also, we had to make our way down to Trail Creek to eat our breakfast, because I didn't have any water left after dinner on the ridge the night before.

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Top of my tent on the morning of day two

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Bob is trying to dry some clothes

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The sun is out! Hallelujah!

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Simpson Peaks

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Trail Creek. Breakfast time! :thumbsup:

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We're taking the Angle Lakes route

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Smokehouse Mountain

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Unnamed peak 10350

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We hit a stretch of burn as we made our way to South Buffalo Fork. Smokehouse Mountain in the distance dominated our day

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Bob getting a good shot

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Scatman enjoying the weather.

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Fireweed was prevalent along this stretch, and beautiful too.

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A look across the South Buffalo Fork Drainage

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The muddy trail I fell on. :( A steep son of a gun! Bob had no trouble with it though.
He is half mountain goat you know. :)


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Rainbow Lake

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Nearing the ford of the South Buffalo Fork. Looking up towards Pendergaft Peak

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More deer in the burn

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South Buffalo Fork, looking east

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Making our way to Lake Creek, looking up towards Pendergraft Peak, though the peak itself is not visible at this angle.

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Bob, just about across Lake Creek



Day 3 - Lake Creek to ridge above Lost Creek - 6.6 Miles


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Day 3 overview map

Day three was an uphill affair. Packing up after breakfast, we began to work our way up along Lake Creek and into the high country. Trail conditions were improving, though some shady sections of the trail still had mud issues. But overall it was nice to have some solid footing for a change. While the wildflowers were special throughout our trip, the section along Lake Creek was especially nice. I couldn't keep up with Bob due to my constant picture taking up small side drainages just loaded with wildflowers.

After reaching the headwaters of Lake Creek and the trail intersection with Ferry Lake, We chose to head east and camp up above Lost Creek. We had originally intended to head up and over the ridge and then drop down into the South Fork of the Yellowstone, but two straight mud days and a third all uphill day had taken it out of us, so we chose easy instead.

We had a nice spring close to where we chose our campsite, and the water was so clear that my Steripen wouldn't work in it. :)

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Morning on Lake Creek

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Watching deer while eating breakfast

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Unnamed peak 10375 as we begin our climb out of the South Buffalo Fork Drainage

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View looking back at the way we dropped into the drainage the day before

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Pussytoes

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Lake Creek below

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Side canyons were loaded with wildflowers

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Paintbrush, arnica and pink geraniums

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Some aster, paintbrush and monkey flower

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Lake Fork Falls. We met a group from Wyoming Catholic College while at the falls. More
on them later.


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Another shot of the falls

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Heading into the upper reaches of Lake Creek

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Signpost - left to Ferry Lake, right to Marston Pass

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View to the south down the Lost Creek Drainage

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More wildflowers heading east

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Bob enjoying the view. Peak 10962 in the distance

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Enjoying dinner up above Lost Creek

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Company while eating.

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Sunset arrives at Lost Creek


Day 4 - Ridge above Lost Creek to a tributary of Turner Fork - 5.8 Miles

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Day 4 overview map

On day four, we would continue east along Lost Creek before beginning our off-trail portion of the trip. Originally, we had planned on staying at an unnamed lake for night 4, but when we arrived at the lake, we ran into a second group from Wyoming Catholic College who where camped there on an off day for them. It turns out that if you enroll at the school, you are required to do a twenty one day backpacking trip through the Teton Wilderness. They would be resupplied twice in the twenty one days. Wow! Where was this opportunity when I went to school? They also had the fortune of watching a sow with her cubs pass by the lake earlier in the morning.

After chatting with members of the group, we had a nice steep climb out of the lake and onto the ridge, where we contoured around to our next campsite. Once up high, the views were tremendous.

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Morning on Lost Creek, looking west

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Meadow full of wildflowers along Lost Creek

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Lost Creek out ahead. We are getting close to leaving the trail and heading south

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Leaving the trail, destination straight ahead

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Lost Creek Meadows, heading now towards unnamed lake

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View to the north. The South Fork of the Yellowstone is on the other side of the ridge.

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Another shot down Lost Creek

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Bob and Younts Peak poking its head above the ridge

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Leaving the unnamed lake and the Wyoming Catholic College students behind, with unnamed peak 10692, and Thorofare Mountain
in the far distance, and of course Bob soaking it all in.


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A peek into the Washakie Wilderness

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Alpine forget-me-nots

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Younts Peak to the north. Younts would become a beacon for the next couple of days.

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Me with Thorofare Mountain in the distance

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Younts and Thorofare

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Alpine tundra

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The view ahead

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View down into the Turner Fork Drainage. You need to study this @TractorDoc. :)

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Tributary of Turner Fork that we will call home for the night

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Our tent sites on the tributary of Turner Fork

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A look inside the Scat tent.

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A look at Scat inside the tent. :)

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Elephant heads on the tundra



Day 5 - Tributary of Turner Fork to unnamed pond on west side of Crescent Mountain - 8.0 Miles


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Day 5 overview map

A lot of up and down to day five's itinerary. This is the day that Bob tried to kill off the Scatman, but somehow I persevered. :D When we woke up and ate our breakfast, we had some company on the ridge to the south of us as a herd of elk watched us watching them. Eventually they moved on, and we began our day by climbing to the top of the ridge, before dropping down into the headwaters of a tributary of Marston Creek. Of course, once you're down in the valley, you've got to head up the next ridge, and that is exactly what we did. This is known as "The Way of Bob." :D

While we could see the east side of Crescent Mountain off in the distance, it seemed like it took forever to get there. All the time, we had great views over into the Washakie, and pretty good ones in the Teton Wilderness too. This is also the stretch where we ran into some old trails - some good, some not so much. :)

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Morning on the tributary of Turner Fork

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Always enjoy company for breakfast

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Couple of bulls as they are leaving

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Grand Teton if you can see it.

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He was born for this country. :)

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A little tarn along our way

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Oh yeah, there is Crescent Mountain! it will only take us about eight hours to get there. :scatman:

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Another unnamed pond. Looking down the Bliss Creek Drainage

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Headwaters of a tributary of South Buffalo Fork

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Staying up high for now on this one

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A look back at Younts and some of the ground we have covered.

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Beautiful!

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A butterfly in the high country

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Another tributary of the South Buffalo Fork that we are going to work our way down. Crescent Mountain in the distance.

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Still working our way down the tributary

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Making our way back up to the saddle, looking back on the headwaters of the tributary and the way we had come. Nasty horse
trail ahead! :)


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Bob, making his way over to the horse trail from hell.

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The steepest horse trail I have ever been on. That moniker would only last one
day though. :)


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Back up on top of the ridge looking into the South Fork of the Buffalo

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Looking over into the Washakie Wilderness and the Crescent Creek Drainage

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Crescent Mountain is getting close! :thumbsup:

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And even closer

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View down into the headwaters of the South Buffalo Fork, with the Cub Creek Drainage beyond

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Lupine was plentiful up top

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On the west side of Crescent Mountain now. Next stop is camp.

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The unnamed pond (our camp for the night) is just up on that next ridge.

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Camp number five on the west side of Crescent Mountain

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I had to get a shot with Younts Peak and Thorofare Mountain in it. They are the two peaks way off in the distance.

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Dinner time!

Now since we were camped near a pond, and it being our water source, Bob got a kick out of my unfiltered water with mosquito larva swimming around in my water bottle. Pure protein I say. :D



Day 6 - Unnamed pond on west side of Crescent Mountain to the Dunoir Trail Trailhead and our vehicles - 11.3 Miles


Brooks_Lake_Loop_06_Final.jpg

Day 6 overview map

I woke up in the night to a steady drizzle on my tent. Great! We are going to have to hike out in rain and mud just like our first day coming in. Fortunately for us the rain stopped around 6:00 am and we were good to go.

Now we were going to follow the ridge out, and then drop down to the meadow west of Bonneville Pass, and follow the maintained trail for a couple of miles back to the trailhead. But once we dropped off to the saddle of our second ridge, we had a choice to make. We could either follow our original plan, or we could drop down to Dundee Meadows and pick up the trail at the south end of the meadows and take it up and over Bonneville Pass and out. Well, we chose the latter and had to find a way to get down to the meadows. This would include the absolute worst horse trail I have been on, supplanting the one from the day before. It essentially went straight down a cliff for a good piece. Once we survived that, we had to find the trail which kind of turned into a bit of a circus, but we eventually found it. It was then a steep climb over Bonneville Pass to the meadow, which was beautiful by the way, and then downhill to our awaiting vehicles.

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Bob (ready for rain) taking down his tent, with Younts and Thorofare in the distance.

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Another shot of the Grand

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Grabbing his camera to take a picture

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Heading off the ridge with the next ridge out in front of us. Perry N. Boday Creek Drainage to Bob's left, and the Cub Creek Drainage
in the distance to his upper right.


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See the horse trail ahead climbing the next ridge? That's what we are shooting for.

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Climbing the next ridge and looking back on the ridge we just dropped off of. Headwaters of South Buffalo Fork below.

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The rocky road ahead, or perhaps the Rocky Road to Dublin! :)

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Looking down into the Cub Creek Drainage

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A little peek at the high point of the next ridge we were supposed to climb. The unnamed peak is over 11,000 feet in elevation.

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Starting our descent to the saddle between ridges

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Looking over towards Pinnacle Buttes

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Decision Time! Drop down to the meadows or climb back up the next ridge? What
would you choose? :)


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Dropping down to the first meadow. The south end of the distant meadow is what we are shooting for.

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What is this? An old horse trial perhaps? :thinking: :heart_eyes:

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Still a ways and a drop to the main meadow.

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Ooh, bear scat on the old horse trail.

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Turned into the horse trail from hell. Bob coming straight down of a cliff, doing his best
mountain goat impersonation. They must have been some tough old cowboys back in
the day to use this trail. My hats off to them.


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Sorry, I'm infatuated with the trail. Steep! The picture doesn't do it justice.

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The cursed cut-off trail. This trail was supposed to save us some diatnce, but it died out
in a meadow further along, never to be picked up again. We had to backtrack back to
this creek and continue south to pick up the real trail. :( Dundee Creek by the way.


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Bonneville Pass is up that way somewhere

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A little bushwhacking through willows is always fun as we make our way south through the main meadow

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On trail! Yippee!

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Climbing up to the pass

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Just beautiful

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More climbing

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View back to the northeast from Bonneville Pass

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And a view to the southwest from the pass

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Bob can "smell the barn" at this point. :) Unnamed Peak 10,526 on the left and Pinnacle Buttes beyond

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Arnica covered field.

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Looking across the meadow to where we were originally supposed to come off the ridge to gain the trail.

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Looking up Jules Bowl at the north side of Pinnacle Buttes

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Sulphur indian paintbrush

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A little fellow close to the trailhead

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Back at the trailhead! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

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And two calorie starved backpackers each ordered a Great Western Burger at Hatchet Lodge for dinner.

What a fun trip. Thanks Bob for joining me. I had a great time. If we could have ditched the rain and the mud, it would have been perfect.

On my way back to Salt Lake that night, I got to see a large bull elk at the top of Tincup, along with three deer. :thumbsup:


The End.
 
Last edited:

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,345
This report is a complement to @Bob's wonderful write-up Teton Wilderness - 50 Miles of High Country.

Originally this was supposed to be a trip to the Beartooths, where we had hoped to complete a lollipop loop into the teeth of the Tooths so to speak. Unfortunately, mother nature had other ideas with the flooding and subsequent damage that cut off access to Cooke City through the Park. We turned to option number 2, the Teton Wilderness.

The loop was roughly fifty miles in length, though with Bob's back and forth along the ridges we may have done closer to sixty. :) No, Bob was our navigator, and he did a tremendous job - other than the horse trails from hell that is. :D He kept me from wandering down a few unnamed drainages, which isn't an easy thing to do.

This is our story:

View attachment 112775
Trip overview map


Day 1 - Dunoir Trail Trailhead to ridge above Trail Creek - 5.7 Miles

Before we get to the trail, lets chat about the ride up to Jackson and beyond.

The forecast for the area, according to @Rockskipper, was for rain and more rain. Wonderful!

As I exited onto Highway 89 south of Willard, Utah, I could tell that it had been raining earlier. When I made my way up Sardine Canyon, the rain began in earnest, and by the time I hit Logan, it was coming down hard. My wiper blades on the Sube could barely keep up with it. Once in the Logan Canyon, the force subsided some, but I had rain all the way to Jackson, where I was to meet Bob for lunch at Big Hole BBQ. After downing a couple of pulled pork sandwiches while watching it rain, we took off for our trailhead just east of Brooks Lake.

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Afton, Wyoming

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Alpine, Wyoming - no let up in the precipitation

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On the Forest Service Road to Brooks Lake - Bob in the lead.

Arriving at the trailhead, we caught a break as the steady rain became just a drizzle, and then stopping before we headed down the trail.

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Getting ready in the mud at the trailhead

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Signage at the trailhead. We'd finish up on this trail in six days, but for now we would be heading in the opposite direction.

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Day 1 overview map.

While it had stopped raining, the trail was a muddy mess as we headed west towards the meadows along Brooks Lake. To make matters worse, a horse train had just passed to beat up the trail extra good for us.

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A bad picture, but that is a mule looking down at us. It was part of the horse train that came up the trail just before we went down. Besides, an out-of-focus mule beats an in-focus Scatman any day! :D

It became apparent pretty early on that this was going to be slow slog. The mud was sticking to our shoes/boots with every step. Slipping and sliding was the name of the game this afternoon and evening.

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Our first ford, Bonneville Creek

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Bob, contemplating a future of mud, with unnamed peak 10681 in the distance

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Looking back to the south towards Brooks Lake and surrounding meadows

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Some blue sky at Upper Brooks Lake. Don't worry, it won't last. :)

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Part of the CDT at this point

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Reaching the Wilderness Boundary

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Deer were plentiful the first three days

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A couple more further up the trail

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Typical trail conditions on Day 1

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Beautiful scenery

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Bob hanging in there like the trooper he is.

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Cub Creek. Just after fording this, and beginning to climb the ridge, it began to rain

While our original plan was to reach Trail Creek for the night, we ended up camping high on the ridge due to darkness setting in
and it just pouring rain.

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Making our way up the ridge, looking down on Cub Creek, with Breccia Peak above

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Aargh! Tough hill in the mud.

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Beautiful sunset on and off the trail. This was near where we called it quits for the day. We set up camp and ate our supper in the
rain.



Day 2 - Ridge above Trail Creek to Lake Creek and Pendegraft Meadow - 9.7 Miles


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Day 2 overview map

It rained off and on throughout the night, but by the time we woke the next morning it had stopped and was replaced by mostly blue skies. Now while it had stopped raining, that didn't mean that the trail was in any better condition than it was on day one - still just a muddy mess. Because we had come up short on our campsite the previous day, we had to add about a mile and a half to today's mileage. Also, we had to make our way down to Trail Creek to eat our breakfast, because I didn't have any water left after dinner on the ridge the night before.

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Top of my tent on the morning of day two

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Bob is trying to dry some clothes

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The sun is out! Hallelujah!

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Simpson Peaks

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Trail Creek. Breakfast time! :thumbsup:

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We're taking the Angle Lakes route

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Smokehouse Mountain

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Unnamed peak 10350

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We hit a stretch of burn as we made our way to South Buffalo Fork. Smokehouse Mountain in the distance dominated our day

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Bob getting a good shot

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Scatman enjoying the weather.

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Fireweed was prevalent along this stretch, and beautiful too.

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A look across the South Buffalo Fork Drainage

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The muddy trail I fell on. :( A steep son of a gun! Bob had no trouble with it though.
He is half mountain goat you know. :)


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Rainbow Lake

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Nearing the ford of the South Buffalo Fork. Looking up towards Pendergaft Peak

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More deer in the burn

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South Buffalo Fork, looking east

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Making our way to Lake Creek, looking up towards Pendergraft Peak, though the peak itself is not visible at this angle.

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Bob, just about across Lake Creek



Day 3 - Lake Creek to ridge above Lost Creek - 6.6 Miles


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Day 3 overview map

Day three was an uphill affair. Packing up after breakfast, we began to work our way up along Lake Creek and into the high country. Trail conditions were improving, though some shady sections of the trail still had mud issues. But overall it was nice to have some solid footing for a change. While the wildflowers were special throughout our trip, the section along Lake Creek were especially nice. I couldn't keep up with Bob due to my constant picture taking up small side drainages just loaded with wildflowers.

After reaching the headwaters of Lake Creek and the trail intersection with Ferry Lake, We chose to head east and camp up above Lost Creek. We had originally intended to head up and over the ridge and then drop down into the South Fork of the Yellowstone, but two straight mud days and a third all uphill day had taken it out of us, so we chose easy instead.

We had a nice spring close to where we chose our campsite, and the water was so clear that my Steripen wouldn't work in it. :)

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Morning on Lake Creek

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Watching deer while eating breakfast

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Unnamed peak 10375 as we begin our climb out of the South Buffalo Fork Drainage

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View looking back at the way we dropped into the drainage the day before

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Pussytoes

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Lake Creek below

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Side canyons were loaded with wildflowers

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Paintbrush, arnica and pink geraniums

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Some aster, paintbrush and monkey flower

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Lake Fork Falls. We met a group from Wyoming Catholic College while at the falls. More
on them later.


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Another shot of the falls

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Heading into the upper reaches of Lake Creek

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Signpost - left to Ferry Lake, right to Marston Pass

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View to the south down the Lost Creek Drainage

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More wildflowers heading east

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Bob enjoying the view. Peak 10962 in the distance

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Enjoying dinner up above Lost Creek

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Company while eating.

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Sunset arrives at Lost Creek


Day 4 - Ridge above Lost Creek to a tributary of Turner Fork - 5.8 Miles

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Day 4 overview map

On day four, we would continue east along Lost Creek before beginning our off-trail portion of the trip. Originally, we had planned on staying at an unnamed lake for night 4, but when we arrived at the lake, we ran into a second group from Wyoming Catholic College who where camped there on an off day for them. It turns out that if you enroll at the school, you are required to do a twenty one day backpacking trip through the Teton Wilderness. They would be resupplied twice in the twenty one days. Wow! Where was this opportunity when I went to school? They also had the fortune of watching a sow with her cubs pass by the lake earlier in the morning.

After chatting with members of the group, we had a nice steep climb out of the lake and onto the ridge, where we contoured around to our next campsite. Once up high, the views were tremendous.

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Morning on Lost Creek, looking west

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Meadow full of wildflowers along Lost Creek

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Lost Creek out ahead. We are getting close to leaving the trail and heading south

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Leaving the trail, destination straight ahead

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Lost Creek Meadows, heading now towards unnamed lake

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View to the north. The South Fork of the Yellowstone is on the other side of the ridge.

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Another shot down Lost Creek

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Bob and Younts Peak poking its head above the ridge

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Leaving the unnamed lake and the Wyoming Catholic College students behind, with unnamed peak 10692, and Thorofare Mountain
in the far distance, and of course Bob soaking it all in.


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A peek into the Washakie Wilderness

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Alpine forget-me-nots

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Younts Peak to the north. Younts would become a beacon for the next couple of days.

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Me with Thorofare Mountain in the distance

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Younts and Thorofare

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Alpine tundra

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The view ahead

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View down into the Turner Fork Drainage

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Tributary of Turner Fork that we will call home for the night

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Our tent sites on the tributary of Turner Fork

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A look inside the Scat tent.

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A look at Scat inside the tent. :)

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Elephant heads on the tundra



Day 5 - Tributary of Turner Fork to unnamed pond on west side of Crescent Mountain - 8.0 Miles


View attachment 112882
Day 5 overview map

A lot of up and down to day five's itinerary. This is the day that Bob tried to kill off the Scatman, but somehow I persevered. :D When we woke up and ate our breakfast, we had some company on the ridge to the south of us as a herd of elk watched us watching them. Eventually they moved on, and we began our day by climbing to the top of the ridge, before dropping down into the headwaters of a tributary of Marston Creek. Of course, once you're down in the valley, you've got to head up the next ridge, and that is exactly what we did. This is known as "The Way of Bob." :D

While we could see the east side of Crescent Mountain off in the distance, it seemed like it took forever to get there. All the time, we had great views over into the Washakie, and pretty good ones in the Teton Wilderness too. This is also the stretch where we ran into some old trails - some good, some not so much. :)

View attachment 112883
Morning on the tributary of Turner Fork

View attachment 112884
Always enjoy company for breakfast

View attachment 112885
Couple of bulls as they are leaving

View attachment 112886
Grand Teton if you can see it.

View attachment 112887
He was born for this country. :)

View attachment 112888
A little tarn along our way

View attachment 112889
Oh yeah, there is Crescent Mountain! it will only take us about eight hours to get there. :scatman:

View attachment 112890
Another unnamed pond. Looking down the Bliss Creek Drainage

View attachment 112891
Headwaters of a tributary of South Buffalo Fork

View attachment 112892
Staying up high for now on this one

View attachment 112893
A look back at Younts and some of the ground we have covered.

View attachment 112894
Beautiful!

View attachment 112895
A butterfly in the high country

View attachment 112896
Another tributary of the South Buffalo Fork that we are going to work our way down. Crescent Mountain in the distance.

View attachment 112897
Still working our way down the tributary

View attachment 112898
Making our way back up to the saddle, looking back on the headwaters of the tributary and the way we had come. Nasty horse
trail ahead! :)


View attachment 112899
Bob, making his way over to the horse trail from hell.

View attachment 112900
The steepest horse trail I have ever been on. That moniker would only last one
day though. :)


View attachment 112901
Back up on top of the ridge looking into the South Fork of the Buffalo

View attachment 112902
Looking over into the Washakie Wilderness and the Crescent Creek Drainage

View attachment 112903
Crescent Mountain is getting close! :thumbsup:

View attachment 112904
And even closer

View attachment 112905
View down into the headwaters of the South Buffalo Fork, with the Cub Creek Drainage beyond

View attachment 112906
Lupine was plentiful up top

View attachment 112907
On the west side of Crescent Mountain now. Next stop is camp.

View attachment 112908
The unnamed pond (our camp for the night) is just up on that next ridge.

View attachment 112909
Camp number five on the west side of Crescent Mountain

View attachment 112910
I had to get a shot with Younts Peak and Thorofare Mountain in it. They are the two peaks way off in the distance.

View attachment 112911
Dinner time!

Now since we were camped near a pond, and it being our water source, Bob got a kick out of my unfiltered water with mosquito larva swimming around in my water bottle. Pure protein I say. :D



Day 6 - Unnamed pond on west side of Crescent Mountain to the Dunoir Trail Trailhead and our vehicles - 11.3 Miles


View attachment 112912
Day 6 overview map

I woke up in the night to a steady drizzle on my tent. Great! We are going to have to hike out in rain and mud just like our first day coming in. Fortunately for us the rain stopped around 6:00 am and we were good to go.

Now we were going to follow the ridge out, and then drop down to the meadow west of Bonneville Pass, and follow the maintained trail for a couple of miles back to the trailhead. But once we dropped off to the saddle of our second ridge, we had a choice to make. We could either follow or original plan, or we could drop down to Dundee Meadows and pick up the trail at the south end of the meadows and take it up and over Bonneville Pass and out. Well, we chose the latter and had to find a way to get down to the meadows. This would include the absolute worst horse trail I have been on, supplanting the one from the day before. It essentially went straight down a cliff for a good piece. Once we survived that, we had to find the trail which kind of turned into a bit of a circus, but we eventually found it. It was then a steep climb over Bonneville Pass to the meadow, which was beautiful by the way, and then downhill to our awaiting vehicles.

View attachment 112913
Bob (ready for rain) taking down his tent, with Younts and Thorofare in the distance.

View attachment 112914
Another shot of the Grand

View attachment 112915
Grabbing his camera to take a picture

View attachment 112916
Heading off the ridge with the next ridge out in front of us. Perry N. Boday Creek Drainage to Bob's left, and the Cub Creek Drainage
in the distance to his upper right.


View attachment 112917
See the horse trail ahead climbing the next ridge? That's what we are shooting for.

View attachment 112918
Climbing the next ridge and looking back on the ridge we just dropped off of. Headwaters of South Buffalo Fork below.

View attachment 112919
The rocky road ahead, or perhaps the Rocky Road to Dublin! :)

View attachment 112920
Looking down into the Cub Creek Drainage

View attachment 112921
A little peek at the high point of the next ridge we were supposed to climb. The unnamed peak is over 11,000 feet in elevation.

View attachment 112922
Starting our descent to the saddle between ridges

View attachment 112923
Looking over towards Pinnacle Buttes

View attachment 112924
Decision Time! Drop down to the meadows or climb back up the next ridge? What
would you choose? :)


View attachment 112925
Dropping down to the first meadow. The south end of the distant meadow is what we are shooting for.

View attachment 112927
What is this? An old horse trial perhaps? :thinking: :heart_eyes:

View attachment 112928
Still a ways and a drop to the main meadow.

View attachment 112929
Ooh, bear scat on the old horse trail.

View attachment 112930
Turned into the horse trail from hell. Bob coming straight down of a cliff, doing his best
mountain goat impersonation. They must have been some tough old cowboys back in
the day to use this trail. My hats off to them.


View attachment 112931
Sorry, I'm infatuated with the trail. Steep! The picture doesn't do it justice.

View attachment 112932
The cursed cut-off trail. This trail was supposed to save us some diatnce, but it died out
in a meadow further along, never to be picked up again. We had to backtrack back to
this creek and continue south to pick up the real trail. :( Dundee Creek by the way.


View attachment 112933
Bonneville Pass is up that way somewhere

View attachment 112934
A little bushwhacking through willows is always fun as we make our way south through the main meadow

View attachment 112935
On trail! Yippee!

View attachment 112936
Climbing up to the pass

View attachment 112937
Just beautiful

View attachment 112938
More climbing

View attachment 112939
View back to the northeast from Bonneville Pass

View attachment 112940
And a view to the southwest from the pass

View attachment 112941
Bob can "smell the barn" at this point. :) Unnamed Peak 10,526 on the left and Pinnacle Buttes beyond

View attachment 112942
Arnica covered field.

View attachment 112943
Looking across the meadow to where we were originally supposed to come off the ridge to gain the trail.

View attachment 112944
Looking up Jules Bowl at the north side of Pinnacle Buttes

View attachment 112945
Sulphur indian paintbrush

View attachment 112946
A little fellow close to the trailhead

View attachment 112947
Back at the trailhead! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

View attachment 112948
And two calorie starved backpackers each ordered a Great Western Burger at Hatchet Lodge for dinner.

What a fun trip. Thanks Bob for joining me. I had a great time. If we could have ditched the rain and the mud, it would have been perfect.

On my way back to Salt Lake that night, I got to see a large bull elk at the top of Tincup, along with three deer. :thumbsup:


The End.
Wasn't that steep. .piece of cake! Great trip .... Where next
 

Georgia Yankee

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Messages
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Nice followup to @Bob's writeup. Too bad about the mud, but at least you have some memories that will stick... When I was up on the plateau a few years ago I passed by the "Catholic College" lake and thought it would be a great place to camp. Guess others had the same idea. And on your first "horse trail from hell" we found a ladies makeup kit with mirror. Looked like 1950s vintage. We had trouble reconciling the idea of a delicately adorned face with a trip that included that trail.
 

Rockskipper

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Awesome TR. Nice to see some photos of Wasn't That Steep Bob, who knows how to smile (no harm meant to those who only half-smile, didn't even cross my mind).

I always predict rain - that way people aren't disappointed. And there's fresh snow on the Grand this morning, so maybe it could've been worse.

I once had a conversation with old Biscuit McGee and he told me the horse-trail thing in most of the West was a HUGE miscommunication between old-time trappers/cowpunchers etc., and the use of horses wasn't even prevalent until way after most of those old historic trails were created. Here's how he told it (you can decide for yourself to believe it or not):

Bison HATE being called bison and prefer the old-time term of buffalo, which is what everyone used to call them. (They found out bison means stinking animal.) They were much more tractable before the term bison came to be, and if you could get a baby, it could be trained as a darn good trail "horse." So those actually aren't horse trails at all. If you were mounted on a good buffalo, even the Indians would leave you alone. (As an aside, buffalo especially hated the Sioux because they called them Tatanka, which means bison.) So, the trails are really buffalo trails and are not to be trusted, as everyone knows buffalo go wherever they want.
 
Last edited:

scatman

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Nice followup to @Bob's writeup. Too bad about the mud, but at least you have some memories that will stick... When I was up on the plateau a few years ago I passed by the "Catholic College" lake and thought it would be a great place to camp. Guess others had the same idea. And on your first "horse trail from hell" we found a ladies makeup kit with mirror. Looked like 1950s vintage. We had trouble reconciling the idea of a delicately adorned face with a trip that included that trail.
Cool find. It didn't look like any horse had used that trail since the 50's. :)

I'm going to stay at that lake next year on my trip, whether there are others there or not.
 

scatman

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Awesome TR. Nice to see some photos of Wasn't That Steep Bob, who knows how to smile (no harm meant to those who only half-smile, didn't even cross my mind).

I always predict rain - that way people aren't disappointed. And there's fresh snow on the Grand this morning, so maybe it could've been worse.

I once had a conversation with old Biscuit McGee and he told me the horse-trail thing in most of the West was a HUGE miscommunication between old-time trappers/cowpunchers etc., and the use of horses wasn't even prevalent until way after most of those old historic trails were created. Here's how he told it (you can decide for yourself to believe it or not):

Bison HATE being called bison and prefer the old-time term of buffalo, which is what everyone used to call them. (They found out bison means stinking animal.) They were much more tractable before the term bison came to be, and if you could get a baby, it could be trained as a darn good trail "horse." So those actually aren't horse trails at all. If you were mounted on a good buffalo, even the Indians would leave you alone. (As an aside, buffalo especially hated the Sioux because they called them Tatanka, which means bison.) So, the trails are really buffalo trails and are not to be trusted, as everyone knows buffalo go wherever they want.

Now you tell me! You should have mentioned that before the trip. :)

No half-smiles here. :scatman:

How's old Biscuit McGee doing these days?

I don't know, We didn't see a single buffalo back in there. :thinking: I like the word Tatanka. It has a serious sound to me. Tatanka, Tatanka, Tatanka, Tatanka, Tatanka, Tatanka. I feel better now. :D
 

Outdoor_Fool

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Great TR @scatman . I had this exact route planned for this summer but made some changes before departure. I'll post that report at some point. There was some overlap along the way. Nice pics and narration.

We didn't see a single buffalo back in there.
At our camp in the north part of Pendergraft Meadow, I did notice what looked like an old(!) bison wallow.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Gosh, What A Great Trip Report! Thanks! Loved It! Have been all over this route and it brought back many nice memories! Such Awesome and Nice Country! Good for you Scat and you Bob for doing it!
 

scatman

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Great TR @scatman . I had this exact route planned for this summer but made some changes before departure. I'll post that report at some point. There was some overlap along the way. Nice pics and narration.


At our camp in the north part of Pendergraft Meadow, I did notice what looked like an old(!) bison wallow.

Thanks.

I'm looking forward to your report @Outdoor_Fool.

Interesting on the wallow.
 

scatman

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Gosh, What A Great Trip Report! Thanks! Loved It! Have been all over this route and it brought back many nice memories! Such Awesome and Nice Country! Good for you Scat and you Bob for doing it!

I thought of you often along our route.

Have you been on that horse trail before? It looks to me like it was an old route between the upper Dundee Meadows and Cub Creek. I didn't get a chance to sniff out the Cub Creek side of things though. It would have been a brave person to take horses up or down that trail.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Scatman, Thanks for thinking of me. Surprised you did not go over to the South Fork of the Yellowstone even briefly. And isn't that Buffalo Plateau wonderful! There are so many places there that one could hang out for days and days.

Now that one horse trail route you went on ... maybe not. But have been on other horse trail routes in the area. There are several horse routes I have been on between Bonneville Pass to the head of the South Fork of the Shoshone and up Crescent Creek and the head of the South Fork of the Buffalo with others in the area. In this whole greater area there are soooo many offtrail old horse routes and game trails it seems.

Again Loved the Trip Report! Best to You!
 

Jackson

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Getting a great trip report from Bob and then from you is like breakfast and second breakfast. Love it. I'm green with envy! Looks like it was an incredible time, even with all the mud and the rough horse trail.

Turner Fork has been one I've wondered about looking at it on maps. I'm not bold enough to plan a trip to try going up it because of how much backtracking could possibly be required. Haha.
 

TheMountainRabbit

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Turner Fork has been one I've wondered about looking at it on maps. I'm not bold enough to plan a trip to try going up it because of how much backtracking could possibly be required. Haha.
Turner Fork goes - if you want a bit of an adventure. The next drainage to the east goes easier - if you want a different adventure. ;)
 

Jackson

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Turner Fork goes - if you want a bit of an adventure. The next drainage to the east goes easier - if you want a different adventure. ;)
I had seen use trails on Google Earth in various parts of both drainages but wondered about the continuity. Guess I'll be signing up for an adventure one of these years!
 

TractorDoc

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I apologize for a delayed response to this excellent trip report.

I enjoyed getting to see more of @Bob in this report vs. his. I do get the impression that he is very nimble and in most of the pictures he is smiling. I think Bob is just a genuinely happy guy or he enjoys dragging Hugh thru punishing terrain. Or Both. :) :scatman:

I'm glad the weather cleared for the main portion of your trip. Amazing views and great picture taking (by both of you) to capture the moment -- it must have been exponentially more enjoyable to experience your surroundings in person.
View down into the Turner Fork Drainage. You need to study this @TractorDoc. :)
I'll do my best. I'll need to make the ascent up from Thoroughfare Creek first. Don't forget that I'm a thick-air breathing lowlander. :p

 

Miya

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Wonderful share! Hoping to get into the Tetons before the year closes, now that I am so close to it! :)
 

scatman

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I enjoyed getting to see more of @Bob in this report vs. his. I do get the impression that he is very nimble and in most of the pictures he is smiling. I think Bob is just a genuinely happy guy or he enjoys dragging Hugh thru punishing terrain. Or Both. :) :scatman:
No doubt he enjoys it. :D
 
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