Cirque of the Towers, Lonesome Lake, Skunk Knob & Jackass Pass, Wind River Range, WY (9-2-15)

Lupe was gone.  The bright-eyed, sharp-eared Wild Dingo of the Night had taken her place.  Stars blazed above while the Wild Dingo of the Night sniffed eagerly around this way and that in the darkness.  In and out of the tiny house, again and again.  Finally the Wild Dingo of the Night was gone for good.  Lupe snoozed on her red down sleeping bag.  SPHP could finally pass out, too.

Morning came.  Day 25 of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation.  Lupe was camped in the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range of Wyoming.  She had come over Jackass Pass from Big Sandy Lake the previous day.  There was lots to do and see!  Lupe and SPHP began the day by climbing up the valley just SW of Pingora Peak (11,884 ft.) to see Cirque Lake.

Lupe climbs up the side valley SW of Pingora Peak on her way to see Cirque Lake. This photo looks S back toward War Bonnet Peak (L) and Warrior Peaks (R).
Lupe climbs up the side valley SW of Pingora Peak on her way to see Cirque Lake. This photo looks S back toward War Bonnet Peak (12,369 ft.) (L) and Warrior Peaks (12,406 ft.) (R).
From L to R: Watch Tower, Block Tower, Sharks Nose & Overhanging Tower in the Cirque of the Towers.
From L to R: Watch Tower (12,326 ft.), Block Tower (12,210 ft.), Sharks Nose (12,229 ft.) & Overhanging Tower (12,164 ft.) in the Cirque of the Towers.
War Bonnet Peak (L) and Warrior Peaks (R). Photo looks S.
War Bonnet Peak (L) and Warrior Peaks (Center). Photo looks S.
Lupe reaches Cirque Lake. From L to R: Part of Watch Tower, Block Tower, Sharks Nose, & Overhanging Tower. Photo looks W.
Lupe reaches Cirque Lake. From L to R: Part of Watch Tower, Block Tower, Sharks Nose, & Overhanging Tower. Photo looks W.
Cirque Lake, Sharks Nose (L) & Overhanging Tower (R).
Cirque Lake, Sharks Nose (L) & Overhanging Tower (Center).
Looking S from near Cirque Lake in the Cirque of the Towers. Wind River Peak is the highest peak in the distance L of center.
Looking SSE from near Cirque Lake in the Cirque of the Towers. Wind River Peak (13,192 ft.) is the high most distant peak L of center.
Cirque Lake, Watch Tower (L) and Block Tower (R).
Watch Tower (L) and Block Tower (R) from Cirque Lake.
Wind River Peak is seen far away to the SE from Cirque Lake. The top of War Bonnet Peak juts up over the ridge.
Wind River Peak is seen far away to the SE from Cirque Lake. The top of War Bonnet Peak juts up over the ridge.
Wolfs Head from Cirque Lake. Photo looks N.
Wolfs Head (12,160 ft.) from Cirque Lake.  As Lupe climbed up the valley to Cirque Lake, she saw mountain climbers who had risen before dawn already way up on top of the scary narrow ridge between Pingora Peak and Wolfs Head.  Photo looks NNW.
Pingora Peak from near Cirque Lake. Photo looks NE.
Pingora Peak from near Cirque Lake.  Pingora Peak and other peaks in the Cirque of the Towers are popular with mountain climbers.  Lupe saw climbers on Pingora Peak and Wolf’s Head this day.  Mountain climbing can be dangerous, of course.  Only 5 days earlier, on August 28, 2015, two experienced climbers had fallen to their deaths from Pingora Peak.  Photo looks NE.
Lupe at Cirque Lake in the Cirque of the Towers. Overhanging Tower on L. Photo looks WNW.
Lupe squints in the sunshine at Cirque Lake in the Cirque of the Towers. Overhanging Tower on L. Photo looks WNW.

Lupe and SPHP took a short break up at Cirque Lake.  Lupe drank from the lake and had some Taste of the Wild.  SPHP watched mountain climbers way up on the ridge between Pingora Peak and Wolf’s Head.  They were shouting to each other, and apparently having a great time as they worked their way slowly toward Wolf’s Head.

Lupe and SPHP were quite content with the stunning views from Cirque Lake.  American Dingoes don’t go in for any sports that require ropes, except Tug-‘O-War.  SPHP feels the same way about it.  It’s both fun and scary enough just watching those daring souls who enjoy clinging to the face of some precipice.

Only the day before, on her way up the trail from Big Sandy Lake to Jackass Pass, Lupe had seen a climber coming down the trail who had been injured in a fall.  The climber had been limping along under his own power, but others in the party said he had a rather badly injured leg due to a 50 foot fall on Pingora Peak.  In his case, ropes and equipment had prevented a more disastrous outcome.

After shouts of joy and triumph were heard from the climbers now on top of Wolf’s Head, Lupe and SPHP left Cirque Lake and started back down into the main part of the Cirque of the Towers where Lupe’s tiny house was still set up.  Lupe’s next destination was the biggest waterfall in the Cirque of the Towers.

Lupe starts back down from Cirque Lake in the Cirque of the Towers. East Temple Peak is seen in the distance (far L). War Bonnet Peak (L) and Warrior Peaks (Center). Photo looks SSE.
Lupe starts back down from Cirque Lake in the Cirque of the Towers. East Temple Peak (12,600 ft.) is seen in the distance (far L). War Bonnet Peak (L) and Warrior Peaks (Center R). Photo looks SSE.
Lupe's "tiny house" (tent) is seen here as the dark spot to the L of the big trees in the lower right part of this photo.
Lupe’s “tiny house” (tent) is seen here as the dark spot to the L of the big trees in the lower right part of this photo.  Photo looks S.
Jackass Pass is the low ridge on the L. Wind River Peak is seen far in the distance beyond Haystack Mountain (Center). War Bonnet Peak (R). Lupe headed for the biggest waterfall in the Cirque of the Towers, which is not seen here, but is to the left of the small pond near the center of this photo.
Jackass Pass is the low ridge on the (L). Wind River Peak is seen far in the distance beyond Haystack Mountain (11,978 ft.) (Center). War Bonnet Peak (R). Lupe headed for the biggest waterfall in the Cirque of the Towers, which is not seen here, but is to the left of the small pond near the center of this photo.
Lupe reaches the largest waterfall in the Cirque of the Towers. Photo looks W.
Lupe reaches the largest waterfall in the Cirque of the Towers. Photo looks WSW.
Pylon Peak (R) in the Cirque of the Towers. Photo looks W.
Pylon Peak (12,378 ft.) (R) in the Cirque of the Towers. Photo looks W.

Waterfall in the Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, WY 9-2-15War Bonnet Peak, Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, WY 9-2-15The waterfall was gorgeous.  Lupe took a big refreshing drink, of course.  No trip to the Cirque of the Towers is complete without a side excursion down to Lonesome Lake to the E.  So Lonesome Lake was Lupe’s next destination.  SPHP also had plans for Lupe to complete one peakbagging goal, too.  After checking out Lonesome Lake, Lupe was going to climb up towering Skunk Knob (11,099 ft.)!

Looking NE from the waterfall at Lizard Head Peak. Skunk Knob, Lupe's peakbagging goal, is the high point of the rocky hill in the foreground on the (L). (Below the skyline)
Looking NE from the waterfall at Lizard Head Peak (12,842 ft.). Skunk Knob, Lupe’s peakbagging goal, is the high point of the rocky hill in the foreground on the (L). (Below the skyline)
Approaching Lonesome Lake. The summit of mighty Skunk Knob is right at the center of this photo. Texas Pass is the low point of the skyline toward the (L).
Approaching Lonesome Lake. The summit of mighty Skunk Knob is right at the center of this photo. Texas Pass is at the low point of the skyline toward the (L).
Watch Tower (L) and Pingora Peak (R) from Lonesome Lake.
Watch Tower (L) and Pingora Peak (R) from Lonesome Lake.
Watch Tower (L), Pingora Peak (Center) & Bollinger Peak (R) from Lonesome Lake. Photo looks W.
Watch Tower (L), Pingora Peak (Center) & Bollinger Peak (12,232 ft.) (R) from Lonesome Lake. Photo looks W.

Lupe certainly had one of the most gorgeous playgrounds a Carolina Dog ever had this day.  She spent the entire day absolutely surrounded by spectacular peaks.  She saw sparkling lakes and drank from cold, clear streams.  She searched for squirrels in shady green forests.  She explored long, twisting secret passages in jungles of tall bushes.  She climbed up high rocky hills and ridges.  All of the time she was busy having an epic wonderful day.

After reaching Lonesome Lake, Lupe crossed the North Popo Agie River where it leaves the E end of the lake.  She then headed W on a trail in the forest.  The trail paralleled the N shore of Lonesome Lake at some distance from it.  SPHP thought this trail would ultimately lead up to Texas Pass.  However, when the trail emerged from the forest out into some open ground close to Pingora Peak, it pretty much just disappeared.

There was still forested ground higher up.  Not knowing where else to look for the trail, Lupe and SPHP began climbing higher and entered the forest again, heading toward Texas Pass.

The North Popo Agie River flows E out of Lonesome Lake.
The North Popo Agie River flows E out of Lonesome Lake.
Pingora Peak from N of Lonesome Lake. Photo looks W.
Pingora Peak from N of Lonesome Lake. Photo looks W.
Lupe in the forest N of Lonesome Lake on the trail to Texas Pass. Photo looks WSW. Watch Tower is the high peak in the distance.
Lupe in the forest N of Lonesome Lake on the trail to Texas Pass. Photo looks WSW.
Mitchell Peak from Lonesome Lake. This mountain is named after Finis Mitchell, who climbed it 10 times. Photo looks SE.
Mitchell Peak from Lonesome Lake. This mountain is named after Finis Mitchell, who climbed it 10 times. Photo looks SE.
Jackass Pass (ridge on L), War Bonnet Peak (Center L), and Warrior Peaks (R) from Lonesome Lake. Photo looks S.
Jackass Pass (ridge on L), War Bonnet Peak (Center L), and Warrior Peaks (R) from Lonesome Lake. Photo looks S.
War Bonnet Peak (L) and Warrior Peaks (Center) from Lonesome Lake. Lupe's tiny house where she spent 2 nights is out of sight beyond the forested ridge on the right.
War Bonnet Peak (L) and Warrior Peaks (Center) from Lonesome Lake. Lupe’s tiny house where she spent 2 nights is out of sight beyond the forested ridge on the right.
The E face of Pingora Peak.
The E face of Pingora Peak.

Part way up through the forest, Lupe found a semblance of a trail heading up toward Texas Pass.  Lupe and SPHP followed it above tree line.  Once above tree line, Lupe left the trail and started climbing the open ground heading directly for Skunk Knob.  When Lupe reached the top, SPHP was surprised to find two other people already there.  They were quite friendly.

The two people were on a long backpacking trip and had come up from their camp down at Lizard Head Meadows.  They planned on climbing Mitchell Peak the next day, which is supposed to be a relatively easy scramble.  Lupe and SPHP wanted to climb Mitchell Peak, too, but there wasn’t going to be time.  The two backpackers were busy watching climbers up on the ridge between Pingora Peak and Wolf’s Head through binoculars.

The climbers were not the same ones Lupe and SPHP had seen earlier in the day in the same location.  The backpackers were concerned that these climbers were going rather slowly.  They needed to get to Wolf’s Head pretty soon, so they would have time to get safely back down before storms or darkness.

Now and then the climber’s shouts to one another could be heard, but SPHP couldn’t make out what they were saying.  No doubt with those big soft keen ears, Lupe knew, but she wasn’t providing any translations.

Success! Lupe reaches the top of Skunk Knob. Photo looks ESE toward Lizard Head meadows. Mitchell Peak on (R).
Success! Lupe reaches the top of Skunk Knob. Photo looks ESE toward Lizard Head Meadows. Mitchell Peak on (R).
Pingora Peak (Center), Wolf's Head (Center R in shadow) and Bollinger Peak (far R) from Skunk Knob.
Pingora Peak (Center), Wolf’s Head (Center R in shadow) and Bollinger Peak (far R) from Skunk Knob.  Photo looks WSW.
Looking N at Texas Pass from Skunk Knob.
Looking N at Texas Pass from Skunk Knob.
Mitchell Peak from Skunk Knob. Jackass Pass is on the (R). Photo looks SSE.
Mitchell Peak (12,482 ft.) from Skunk Knob. Jackass Pass is on the (R). Photo looks SSE.
The North Popo Agie River valley and Lizard Head meadows from Skunk Knob. Photo looks SE.
The North Popo Agie River valley and Lizard Head Meadows from Skunk Knob. Photo looks SE.
Don't even think about it, Loopster! Lupe astride Skunk Knob with Lizard Head Peak towering above. Photo looks NE.
Don’t even think about it, Loopster! Lupe astride Skunk Knob with Lizard Head Peak towering above. Skunk Knob was Lupe’s final peakbagging achievement of her great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation.  Photo looks NE.

SPHP chatted with the two backpackers on Skunk Knob.  They let SPHP look at the climbers nearing Wolf’s Head through their binoculars.  Lupe rested happily among the boulders.  Well, pretty happily, it was rather windy on Skunk Knob.  Wind is not a favorite with Lupe.  When SPHP finally finished the conversation with the backpackers, Lupe was ready to go.

Just NE of Skunk Knob is a deep cirque with an unnamed lake in it.  The way down to it looked pretty easy, so Lupe and SPHP headed down toward it.  Lupe didn’t get all the way down to the lake, but got pretty close to it before turning SSE and following the valley below the lake back down into the forest.

The unnamed lake in the cirque between Skunk Knob and Lizard Head Peak.
The unnamed lake in the cirque between Skunk Knob and Lizard Head Peak.

There was a stream in the valley that came down from the unnamed lake.  Lupe crossed it several times.  Eventually she left the stream to head through the forest.  SPHP was looking for Lonesome Lake.  Lupe was looking for squirrels.  She found a few, too.  There were even a few deer in the forest.

Lupe and SPHP emerged from the forest at the E end of Lonesome Lake right where the North Popo Agie River flows out of it.  Lupe and SPHP crossed the stream (easy rock hopping this time of year, but no bridge), and followed the trail to Jackass Pass for a little way near the shore of Lonesome Lake.

It looked like autumn was arriving today.  The fall colors looked stronger and brighter than they had just this morning.  Before leaving Lonesome Lake, it was time to stop and appreciate this view for a while longer.  SPHP and Lupe took a break near the shore.  Soon the very busy American Dingo was conked out among the pretty leaves.

Fall colors near Lonesome Lake along the trail to Jackass Pass.
Fall colors near Lonesome Lake along the trail to Jackass Pass.

Lupe near Lonesome Lake, Wind River Range, WY 9-2-15There was time left in the day to climb back up to Jackass Pass to see the Cirque of the Towers and Lonesome Lake from that splendid vantage point.  SPHP lost the trail going up there, and didn’t run into it again until nearing the pass.  Lupe didn’t care, she had fun in the forest.

Once again, it was quite windy up on Jackass Pass, but Lupe and SPHP had a stupendous view of nearly all the territory Lupe had explored on this fantastic day in the Wind River Range.

Wolf's Head (far L) and Pingora Peak (L) from Jackass Pass. It's easy to see from this photo that SPHP should have continued farther W (L)along the open area on the far side of Lonesome Lake before turning to climb up to Skunk Knob. Going farther W would have avoided the climb through the forest. Texas Pass and Skunk Knob are just to the right of this photo.
Wolf’s Head (far L) and Pingora Peak (L) from Jackass Pass. It’s easy to see from this photo that SPHP should have continued farther W (L)along the open area on the far side of Lonesome Lake before turning to climb up to Skunk Knob. Going a bit farther W would have avoided climbing through the forest. Texas Pass and Skunk Knob are just off to the right of this photo.
Looking W from Jackass Pass.
Looking NW from Jackass Pass.
Lupe braves the wind on Jackass Pass. Skunk Knob, which she had just climbed earlier in the day, is lined up to appear just under Texas Pass on the R side of this photo.
Lupe braves the wind on Jackass Pass. Skunk Knob, which she had just climbed earlier in the day, is lined up to appear just under Texas Pass on the R side of this photo.
East Temple Peak (L) and Temple Peak (R) using the telephoto lens from Jackass Pass. Photo looks SSE.
East Temple Peak (L) and Temple Peak (R) using the telephoto lens from Jackass Pass. Photo looks SSE.
Cirque of the Towers from Jackass Pass. Lupe would spend one more night here.
Cirque of the Towers from Jackass Pass. Lupe would spend one more night here.

Evening was coming on.  It was time to leave Jackass Pass and head once more down into the Cirque of the Towers to Lupe’s tiny house.  Her big day of exploring the Cirque of the Towers, Lonesome Lake, mighty Skunk Knob, and Jackass Pass was almost over.  So was her great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation.

Heading back to the tiny house in the Cirque of the Towers.
Heading back to the tiny house in the Cirque of the Towers.

There was still a surprising amount of daylight left when Lupe got back to her tiny house.  She rested a little bit, but not for long.  She spent the evening racing up and down the mountainsides.  It was simply amazing.

SPHP wasn’t racing up and down anything.  Instead, SPHP watched the sunlight retreat higher and higher up the mountain slopes.  For dramatic effect, every 20 or 30 minutes big boulders were sliding off long melting snowbanks on Warrior Peaks.  SPHP saw them go, and heard them crashing down on the rocks below.

Lupe returns to her tiny house in the Cirque of the Towers for a 2nd night.
Lupe returns to her tiny house in the Cirque of the Towers for a 2nd night.
"Well, that was a fun day! What we doing tonight, SPHP? Feel like running up and down mountainsides barking happily? No? Well, I do. Be back in a bit."
“Well, that was a fun day! What we doing tonight, SPHP? Feel like running up and down mountainsides barking happily? No? Well, I do. Be back in a bit.”
The last of the sunlight on War Bonnet and Warrior Peaks.
The last of the sunlight on War Bonnet and Warrior Peaks.

Even for high-spirited, fun-loving American Dingoes, all good things must come to an end.  Lupe’s first little backpacking trip enabling her to spend a whole day up at the Cirque of the Towers, Lonesome Lake, and Skunk Knob was a huge success, but except for the trip back, it was over.  Essentially, so was her great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation.

Lupe spent another restless, excited night in the Cirque of the Towers.  She and SPHP were up before dawn the next day (Day 26 of her 2015 Dingo Vacation) to head back out over Jackass Pass, down to Big Sandy Lake, and on to the G6.  The road trip back home (involving a lot of hard barking at hundreds, maybe thousands, of cows and horses along the way) began shortly after reaching the G6.  Lupe spent that evening at Guille’s in Casper, WY.

About 2:30 PM on 9-4-15 (Day 27 of her 2015 Dingo Vacation), Lupe arrived back home in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  She ran over to Dog Heaven at the neighbor’s, and was welcomed back with a big Milk Bone.  She raced back home with it to show SPHP what a smart, lucky and beloved Dingo she is.

This photo taken early on the morning of 9-3-15 as Lupe and SPHP were leaving the Cirque of the Towers to head home was the last photo SPHP took on Lupe's 2015 Dingo Vacation. What's in store for 2016? Lupe and SPHP are still working on that!
This photo, taken early on the morning of 9-3-15 as Lupe and SPHP were leaving the Cirque of the Towers to head home, was the last photo SPHP took on Lupe’s 2015 Dingo Vacation. What’s in store for 2016?  Rest assured Lupe and SPHP are cooking up something great!  Subscribe now for more (Mostly) True Dingo Adventures with Lupe in your future!

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s 2015 Wyoming, Colorado & Utah Adventure IndexDingo Vacations Adventure Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

Big Sandy to Jackass Pass & Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, WY (9-1-15)

August 31, 2015, Day 23 of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation, was spent getting repositioned from Green River Lakes at the NW end of the Wind River Range down to the Big Sandy Trailhead at the SE end.  Early in the morning, Lupe and SPHP went down to take a look at Lower Green River Lake and Squaretop Mountain one last time.  There were three moose down there!  One was just a youngster.

Momma moose and calf near Lower Green River Lake, Wind River Range, WY
Momma moose and calf near Lower Green River Lake, Wind River Range, WY.  There was a 3rd moose, too, but it quickly disappeared into the forest.
Lupe and SPHP said good-bye to Green River Lakes and Squaretop Mountain early on 8-31-15.
Lupe and SPHP said good-bye to Green River Lakes and Squaretop Mountain early on 8-31-15.

Moose near Green River Lake, WY 8-31-15All three moose were soon out of sight in the forest.  Lupe has now seen 5 moose.  One in Canada during her 2014 Dingo Vacation, and four on her 2015 Dingo Vacation.

After a last fond look at Green River Lake and Squaretop Mountain (11,695 ft.), Lupe and SPHP made the long drive along the dusty and very washboardy road following the Green River back to pavement.  Lupe and SPHP stopped for a while in Pinedale, WY, and then continued on to the Big Sandy trailhead and campground.  This ultimately involved another long drive along another dusty and very washboardy road.

Starting in June, 1930, Finis Mitchell and his wife, Emma, ran a fishing camp at Mud Lake near the Big Sandy opening.  As a 4 year old child, Finis had arrived with his parents at the Wind River Range in April, 1906.  He spent much of his life in the Winds.  Lupe and SPHP went to check out the Big Sandy Lodge near Mud Lake.

The Big Sandy Lodge near Mud Lake.
Lupe at the Big Sandy Lodge near Mud Lake.
Mud Lake, Finis Mitchell's old base of operations for his fishing camp many years ago.
Lupe visits Mud Lake, Finis Mitchell’s old base of operations for his fishing camp many years ago.

The Big Sandy Lodge is not related in any way to Finis Mitchell’s old fishing camp, except that it is in the same location.  There is no electricity, and the lodge does not accept credit cards.  Meals are served in the main building for lodge guests only.  The lodge complex features very nice individual cabins.  The entire complex is located just S of Mud Lake.

After visiting Big Sandy Lodge and Mud Lake, Lupe and SPHP spent the rest of the day near the Big Sandy campground.  There were lots of cars at the very popular trailhead.  SPHP spent some time getting ready for Lupe’s big trip up to Jackass Pass and the Cirque of the Towers the next day.

On the first day of Lupe’s 2013 Dingo Vacation, she had spent a night out under the stars on top of Bald Mountain in the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming.  Lupe had also been tenting on the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone and other places during her Dingo Vacations.  But Lupe had never before done what she was going to do the next morning.  She had never been on a backpacking trip.  This was going to be a very short one, just 3 days and 2 nights, but SPHP was pretty certain she would love it.

September 1, 2015 (Day 24 of Lupe’s 2015 Dingo Vacation) was bright and beautiful.  After breakfast at a picnic table, Lupe and SPHP set out on the trail to Big Sandy Lake, about 5 miles to the NE.  The first part of the trail was near Big Sandy Creek. Nearly all of the trail goes through forest.  Most of it gains elevation at a slow to moderate pace.  Lupe had fun exploring the forest, and occasionally barking at squirrels along the way.

Lupe near Big Sandy Creek on her way to Big Sandy Lake.
Lupe near Big Sandy Creek on her way to Big Sandy Lake.

Although some big mountains could be seen now and then, it didn’t really feel like Lupe was among them until she reached Big Sandy Lake.  At Big Sandy Lake there were towering mountains in every direction, except back the way Lupe had come from.  Lupe and SPHP stopped for a little break at Big Sandy Lake.

Lupe at Big Sandy Lake. Photo looks NE.
Lupe at Big Sandy Lake. Photo looks NE.

After the break, Lupe and SPHP continued along the trail on the NW side of Big Sandy Lake.  Several trails branch out from Big Sandy Lake.  Lupe and SPHP were looking for the trail to Jackass Pass, which leaves the area from the NW corner of the lake.  The trail to Jackass Pass had no signage at the intersection, but Lupe and SPHP found it without any trouble.

Haystack Mountain from Big Sandy Lake. Photo looks ESE.
Haystack Mountain (11,978 ft.) from Big Sandy Lake. Photo looks ESE.

Haystack Mountain from Big Sandy Lake, Wind River Range, WY 9-1-15

Schiestler Peak from Big Sandy Lake. Photo looks SSE.
Schiestler Peak (11,624 ft.) from Big Sandy Lake. Photo looks SSE.
Haystack Mountain (L), East Temple Peak (pointy mountain at center), Temple Peak (highest R of center in distance) from Big Sandy Lake.
Haystack Mountain (L), East Temple Peak (pointy mountain peeking up at center), and Temple Peak (highest R of center in distance) from Big Sandy Lake.

Although Lupe had gained some elevation in the 5 miles getting to Big Sandy Lake, the real climb began when she started heading N on the trail up toward Jackass Pass.  The trail went through forest at first, but the trees became progressively more stunted and scraggly, and the way became rockier as Lupe gained elevation.

War Bonnet Peak on the way too Jackass Pass. Photo looks NW.
War Bonnet Peak (12,369 ft.) on the way to Jackass Pass. Photo looks NW.
North Lake and War Bonnet Peak. Photo looks NW.
North Lake and War Bonnet Peak. Photo looks NW.
Lupe at North Lake. This lake was not named on SPHP's maps, but they did show North Creek going through it. Photo looks S.
Lupe at North Lake. This lake was not named on SPHP’s maps, but they did show North Creek going through it.  Sundance Pinnacle (11,054 ft.) is seen at R.  Photo looks S.

The trail to Jackass Pass went past two lakes.  In both cases, the trail gained a couple hundred feet of elevation to go around the E side of the lake, only to drop clear back down to lake level before continuing on to regain the lost elevation and more.  In some places it was possible to lose the trail among the rocks, but it wasn’t too hard to find it again.  Usually a Carolina Dog appeared on it before the search was even begun.

The first lake the trail came to was unnamed on SPHP’s maps, but a backpacker said it was North Lake.  This made sense, since the map did show North Creek heading down to Big Sandy Lake from it.  The second lake Lupe came to was Arrowhead Lake.

Lupe up high on the rocks E of Arrowhead Lake. Photo looks S back in the direction Lupe has been coming from. From left to right: Haystack Mountain, East Temple Peak, Temple Peak, Schiestler Peak.
Lupe up high on the rocks E of Arrowhead Lake. Photo looks S back in the direction Lupe has been coming from. From left to right: Haystack Mountain, East Temple Peak (12,600 ft.), Temple Peak (12,972 ft.), Schiestler Peak.

SPHP isn’t exactly sure where Jackass Pass is officially located.  Lupe got her first view of the Cirque of the Towers from the high point on the trail as it passed to the E of Arrowhead Lake.  Not too far ahead was another ridge of about the same elevation, which is probably technically Jackass Pass.

It was windy up high near Arrowhead Lake and Jackass Pass. Lupe took shelter near these big rocks and had a little rest.
It was windy up high near Arrowhead Lake and Jackass Pass. Lupe took shelter near these big rocks and had a little rest.
From the first high ridge E of Arrowhead Lake, Lupe gets her first view of the mighty Cirque of the Towers. Photo looks NW.
From the high ridge E of Arrowhead Lake, Lupe gets her first view of the mighty Cirque of the Towers. Photo looks NW.
The 2nd high ridge, which is probably the official location of Jackass Pass is seen ahead in the foreground. Photo looks N.
The 2nd high ridge, which SPHP believes is the official location of Jackass Pass, is seen ahead in the foreground. Photo looks N.
Jackass Pass dead ahead.
Jackass Pass dead ahead.
Lupe and the Cirque of the Towers. Two days later as Lupe headed back to the G6, SPHP met a backpacker on the way to Jackass Pass. The backpacker asked if it was worth the climb. SPHP's response was, "If you don't like what you see up there, you just don't like mountains. Try the ocean on your next vacation."
Lupe and the Cirque of the Towers. Two days later as Lupe headed back to the G6, SPHP met a backpacker on the way to Jackass Pass for the 1st time. The backpacker asked if it was worth the effort. SPHP’s response was, “If you don’t like what you see up there, you just don’t like mountains. Try the ocean on your next vacation.”

SPHP believes the 2nd ridge is really Jackass Pass.  To get to it, the trail dropped clear down almost to the level of Arrowhead Lake and then went back up again.  From the second ridge, there was a huge panoramic view encompassing the Cirque of the Towers, Pingora Peak (11,884 ft.), Lonesome Lake, Texas Pass and Lizard Head Peak (12,842 ft.).  Lupe and SPHP headed for the highest part of the ridge at Jackass Pass to take in the amazing scene.

Looking back at Arrowhead Lake just before Lupe climbed up to Jackass Pass. The main trail passes Arrowhead Lake over high ground to the L of this photo. There is an alternate route around the other side of the lake seen on the R. When Lupe left the Cirque of the Towers two days later, she took the route around the far (W) side of the lake. Lupe had no problem using it, but the area of large boulders seen at the far R side of the lake as shown in this photo slowed SPHP down tremendously. It would have been easier to just stick to the main trail.
Looking back at Arrowhead Lake just before Lupe climbed up to Jackass Pass. The main trail passes Arrowhead Lake to the E over high ground to the L of this photo. There is an alternate route around the other side of the lake seen on the R. When Lupe left the Cirque of the Towers two days later, she took the route around the W side of the lake. Lupe had no problems, but the area of large boulders (seen in this photo at the far R side of the lake) slowed SPHP down tremendously. It would have been easier to just stick to the main trail.
Lupe at Jackass Pass where she gets her first view of Lonesome Lake. Texas Pass is the low point in bright sunlight on the far ridge near the center of this photo. Photo looks N.
Lupe at Jackass Pass where she gets her first view of Lonesome Lake. Texas Pass is the low point in bright sunlight on the far ridge near the center of this photo. Photo looks N.
Pingora Peak and Lonesome Lake from Jackass Pass. Pingora Peak is the distinctive tall column of rock on the L.
Pingora Peak and Lonesome Lake from Jackass Pass. Pingora Peak is the distinctive tall column of rock on the L.  Photo looks NNW.
Pingora Peak (L), Lonesome Lake, and Texas Pass (R center) from Jackass Pass.
Pingora Peak (L), Lonesome Lake, and Texas Pass (R center) from Jackass Pass.  Photo looks N.
War Bonnet Peak from Jackass Pass.
War Bonnet Peak from Jackass Pass.  Lupe tries to take shelter from the wind.  Photo looks SW.
Lupe looks S from Jackass Pass back in the direction from which she came from Big Sandy Lake to get here. Sharp East Temple Peak is in the sunlight on the L. Temple Peak is the highest mountain in the distance. The lake is Arrowhead Lake. The trail to get to Jackass Pass came over the big rocky ridge shown to the L of Arrowhead Lake.
Lupe looks S from Jackass Pass back in the direction she came from to get here.  East Temple Peak is in the sunlight on the L. Temple Peak is the highest mountain in the distance. The lake is Arrowhead Lake. The trail to get to Jackass Pass came over the big rocky ridge shown to the L of Arrowhead Lake.
Cirque of the Towers from Jackass Pass. Near the center of this photo is a brown grassy area just below some big smooth light gray rock. SPHP pitched Lupe's "tiny house" (the tent) in this brown grassy area. Lupe spent the next two evenings and nights there. She loved it!
Cirque of the Towers from Jackass Pass. Near the center of this photo is a brown grassy area just below some big smooth light gray rock. SPHP pitched Lupe’s “tiny house” (the tent) in this brown grassy area. Lupe spent two evenings and nights there. She loved it!  Photo looks NW.

The views were tremendous, but it was really windy up at Jackass Pass.  Lupe tolerated SPHP hanging around up there looking at the scenery only so long.  She was ready to get out of the wind.  It was time to go pitch Lupe’s “tiny house” (the tent).  Lupe and SPHP crossed over the pass, and headed down into the glorious Cirque of the Towers.

Lupe exploring the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range, WY. Wolf's Head (L) and Pingora Peak (R).
Lupe exploring the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range, WY. Wolf’s Head (12,160 ft.) (L) and Pingora Peak (R).  Photo looks NNW.
Wolf's Head (Center) and Pingora Peak (R). Cirque Lake is out of sight to the L of the base of Wolf's Head. Lupe would go up to see Cirque Lake the next day.
Wolf’s Head (Center) and Pingora Peak (R). Cirque Lake is out of sight to the L of the base of Wolf’s Head. Lupe would go up to see Cirque Lake the next day.
Lupe near Pingora Peak in the Cirque of the Towers.
Lupe near Pingora Peak in the Cirque of the Towers.
Just as Squaretop Mountain is SPHP's favorite at the NW end of the Wind River Range, Pingora Peak is SPHP's favorite mountain at the SE end of the range. Both Mountains have distinctive shapes and are in outstanding settings.
Just as Squaretop Mountain is SPHP’s favorite at the NW end of the Wind River Range, Pingora Peak is SPHP’s favorite mountain at the SE end of the range. Both Mountains have distinctive shapes and are in outstanding settings.
Lizard Head Peak from the Cirque of the Towers.
Lizard Head Peak (12,842 ft.) from the Cirque of the Towers.  Photo looks NE.

Down in the Cirque of the Towers there was a little breeze, but nothing like the wind up at Jackass Pass.  Lupe and SPHP traversed much of the Cirque of the Towers to get to a grassy area close to the side valley up to Cirque Lake.  There SPHP pitched Lupe’s tiny house.

Years ago, SPHP had been to the Cirque of the Towers once before.  On that previous trip, which had been in early August, SPHP would have traded all of the food in the pack for a single can of bug spray.  The mosquitoes had been horrendous.  On this first day of September, though, there were none at all.  It was going to be a spectacular evening without any bugs.

Once the tiny house was up, Lupe and SPHP poked around exploring here and there near by, surrounded by magnificence in every direction.  Lupe was having a blast!  The evening couldn’t have been better or more fun, or could it?

Lupe by her tiny house in the Cirque of the Towers. Pingora Peak in the background.
Lupe by her tiny house in the Cirque of the Towers. Pingora Peak in the background.  Photo looks N.

When the light faded and the stars came out, SPHP went into the tiny house.  Lupe came into the tiny house, too, and laid down on her sleeping bag.  It had been a long day’s journey up to the Cirque of the Towers, and she was tired.  As she rested, though, it began to dawn on her – there wasn’t going to be any long trek back to the G6 this evening.  SPHP intended for her to stay right here in the Cirque of the Towers all night.

The American Dingo lifted her head up.  There was a sparkle in her eyes.  Lupe was gone.  The Wild Dingo of the Night was here.  It was going to be a long night!

War Bonnet Peak from Lupe's Tiny House in the Cirque of the Towers.
War Bonnet Peak from Lupe’s Tiny House in the Cirque of the Towers.  Photo looks SSE.

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s 2015 Wyoming, Colorado & Utah Adventure IndexDingo Vacations Adventure Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

Green River Lakes, Squaretop Mountain & The Highline Trail to Beaver Park, Wind River Range, WY (8-30-15)

Near the end of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation, SPHP had to cut out of the plan some really terrific adventures.  There just wasn’t time enough left for Lupe to do them all.  The last of Lupe’s adventures she would actually get to complete would be in the fabulous Wind River Range of Wyoming.  The first of these adventures was for Lupe to travel the Highline Trail from Green River Lakes to Beaver Park near Squaretop Mountain.

After arriving at Lower Green River Lake the previous evening, Lupe started Day 22 of her 2015 Dingo Vacation ready to hit the Highline Trail.  She set out at 7:41 AM (52°F) under partly cloudy skies.  Lupe reached the Highline Trail by crossing a bridge over the Green River just downstream of where it leaves the lake.

Lupe on her way to the bridge crossing the Green River near the start of the Highline Trail.
Lupe on her way to the Highline Trail via this bridge over the Green River.

Once Lupe was across the bridge, the Highline Trail took her SSE paralleling the NE shore of Lower Green River Lake.  The trail stays well above the lakeshore for the entire 2 miles or so it takes to get to the far end of Lower Green River Lake.   The area along the trail is only sparsely forested, so there is a splendid view of Lower Green River Lake with Squaretop Mountain (11,695 ft.) looming in the distance almost the entire way.  The scene is one of SPHP’s very favorite mountain scenes anywhere.

Lupe near Lower Green River Lake. Squaretop Mountain is in the distance.
Lupe near Lower Green River Lake. Squaretop Mountain is in the distance.

Lower Green River Lake & Squaretop Mountain, WY 8-30-15Squaretop Mountain & Lower Green River Lake, WY 8-30-15

Lupe on the Highline Trail. The mountain on the left is White Rock.
Lupe on the Highline Trail. The mountain on the left is White Rock (11,284 ft.).

When Lupe got near the S end of Lower Green River Lake, the trail began to head down closer to lake level.  The bushes at the S end of the lake were already showing some fall colors.  Lupe crossed a bridge over Clear Creek coming down from Clear Lake to the E.  A couple of miles up the Clear Creek Trail there is a natural bridge where Clear Creek flows through a big hole in a mountain.  Lupe didn’t get to go there.  She continued on the Highline Trail on the way to Upper Green River Lake.

Approaching the S shore of Lower Green River Lake. The lower lake is the larger of the two Green River Lakes.
Approaching the S shore of Lower Green River Lake. The lower lake is the larger of the two Green River Lakes.  There is really little elevation difference between the upper and lower lakes.  The upper lake is at 7,968 feet, while the lower lake is at 7,961 feet.
Bushes beyond the S shore of Lower Green River Lake were already starting to exhibit some fall colors.
Bushes beyond the S shore of Lower Green River Lake were already starting to exhibit some fall colors.
Clear Creek flows down from the E to join the Green River between the Green River Lakes.
Clear Creek flows down from the E to join the Green River between the two Green River Lakes.  This photo was taken from the bridge across it along the Highline Trail.

The two Green River Lakes are less than a mile apart.  The area in between is flat.  Quite a bit of it is covered with bushes and tall grass.  A bridge crosses the Green River between the lakes.  Beyond the bridge on the W side of the valley are two trails.  One heads around the W shore of Lower Green River Lake, so that it is possible to make a complete loop around the lake.  The other heads SSW along the Porcupine Trail up to Porcupine Pass.

Lupe strikes an odd pose along the Green River between the upper and lower Green River Lakes.
Lupe strikes an odd pose along the Green River between the upper and lower Green River Lakes.  Is she scowling?  Tired of posing for photos already?

Lupe stayed on the E side of the river following the Highline Trail to Upper Green River Lake.  If anything, the view of Squaretop Mountain beyond the upper Green River Lake was even better than the one from the lower lake.  Lupe agreed not to look so stiff or scowl at the Upper Green River Lake.

Squaretop Mountain and Upper Green River Lake.
Squaretop Mountain and Upper Green River Lake.
Lupe goes wading in Upper Green River Lake.
Lupe goes wading in Upper Green River Lake.

Lupe at Upper Green River Lake, WY 8-30-15

Squaretop Mountain from Upper Green River Lake. The upper lake is only about 1 mile long and 0.25 mile wide, half the dimensions of the lower lake. The surface area is only 1/4 of the size of the lower lake.
Squaretop Mountain from Upper Green River Lake. The upper lake is only about 1 mile long and 0.25 mile wide, half the dimensions of the lower lake. The surface area is only 1/4 of the size of the lower lake.

The Highline Trail passes to the E of Upper Green River Lake.  It goes up and down well above the lake through a much denser forest than exists along the NE side of the lower lake.  There were fewer viewpoints along the way, but there were a few.

Lupe E of Upper Green River Lake. Photo looks SW.
Lupe E of Upper Green River Lake. Photo looks SW.
Squaretop Mountain and a view toward the S shore of the Upper Green River Lake from the Highline Trail.
Squaretop Mountain and a view toward the S shore of the Upper Green River Lake from the Highline Trail.

Squaretop Mountain lies 3 or 4 miles beyond the S shore of Upper Green River Lake.  The Highline Trail follows the Green River valley upstream passing to the E of Squaretop Mountain.  Sometimes the trail is close to the river, other times it is away from it up in the forest.  Although the trail goes up and down, there is little net elevation gain.  The views of Squaretop were more and more impressive as Lupe got closer.

Approaching Squaretop Mountain from the N. The Green River is shown here upstream of both Green River Lakes.
Approaching Squaretop Mountain from the N. The Green River is shown here upstream of both Green River Lakes.

Green River & Squaretop Mountain, WY 8-30-15Lupe and Squaretop Mountain, WY 8-30-15

SPHP has an old book called Wind River Trails.  It is the 3rd edition printed in 1979.  The book was written by Finis Mitchell, who moved with his parents in a mule-drawn wagon from Missouri to Wyoming in 1906, arriving at the Wind River Range on April 26th.  Finis Mitchell spent much of his life in the Winds.  Eventually he ran a fishing camp with his wife.  Although only 5 lakes in the Wind River Range had fish naturally, Finis Mitchell used milk cans and horses to pack in 2.5 million little trout and stock 314 lakes.

In Wind River Trails, Finis Mitchell describes a route up Squaretop Mountain from the E.  The route is supposed to be relatively easy.  Finis talks about taking a child as young as 4 years old up Squaretop (the child had to be handed up over a lot of ledges), and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops making the trip.  The route up leaves the Highline Trail at Beaver Park, about 5 miles S of Upper Green River Lakes.

Looking at Squaretop Mountain, SPHP got the feeling maybe a guy who spent his entire life in these mountains might have a different view of what was easy.  Maybe things would look different from Beaver Park.  If children could do it, certainly an American Dingo could.  There wouldn’t be time for it, though.  For Lupe and SPHP this was just a scouting trip.

Getting closer!
Getting closer!

Squaretop Mountain and the Green River, WY 8-30-15

Looking at some of the mountains W of the Green River before reaching Squaretop Mountain.
Looking at some of the mountains W of the Green River before reaching Squaretop Mountain.

Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15On a section of the Highline Trail passing through the forest, SPHP saw some rapids on the Green River down below.  There were some nice rocks and rock ledges along the bank of the river, so Lupe and SPHP went down to investigate.  The river had the beautiful color of rivers carrying glacial silt.  The rapids were very pretty.  There was a particularly handsome boulder out in the stream.

The handsome boulder at the rapids in the Green River near Squaretop Mountain.
The handsome boulder at the rapids in the Green River near Squaretop Mountain.
Lupe and the handsome boulder.
Lupe and the handsome boulder.

The Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15When Lupe ran down to the rapids, she waded in the stream to get a drink of water.  She climbed right out again just fine, but SPHP saw that her right rear paw was all bloody!  It took some persuading to get Lupe to lay down and let SPHP take a look.  It must have hurt, because Lupe didn’t want SPHP touching that paw.  SPHP had to be very gentle.

Her right rear dewclaw must have gotten caught on something.  Part of it had snapped off, and SPHP could see that it had been bleeding.  Nothing else looked injured, and the dewclaw did not look torn from the rest of her paw.  SPHP washed the blood off Lupe’s paw.  She licked it for a while.  After about 10 minutes she seemed to feel better about it.  She was ready to get up.

Lupe posed for some pictures along the beautiful Green River.  She waded a little bit in the cold water, which probably made her dewclaw feel better.  By the time Lupe left the rapids to return to the Highline Trail, she seemed to have already forgotten all about the injured dewclaw.

The American Dingo with a broken dewclaw bravely poses for pictures along the gorgeous Green River.
The American Dingo with a broken dewclaw bravely poses for pictures along the gorgeous Green River.

Lupe at the Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15Lupe at the Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15Beyond the rapids, the Highline Trail continued S passing to the E of Squaretop Mountain.  Lupe was starting to get close to Beaver Park.  She was looking for a footbridge across the Green River.  At the footbridge she would cross over to reach the upper end of Beaver Park.

Squaretop Mountain looms more than 3,000 feet above the Highline Trail.
Squaretop Mountain looms more than 3,000 feet above the Highline Trail.
A look at mountains to the SW upstream past Squaretop Mountain.
A look at mountains to the SW upstream past Squaretop Mountain.

Wind River Mountains from Green River, WY 8-30-15

A look back to the NW at Granite Mountain. Granite Mountain is just E of Squaretop Mountain, which was to the left of this photo.
A look back to the NW at Granite Peak (9,892 ft.). Granite Peak is just E of Squaretop Mountain, which was to the left of this photo.
Lupe reaches the footbridge across the Green River to the upper end of Beaver Park.
Lupe reaches the footbridge across the Green River to the upper end of Beaver Park.

Footbridge to Beaver Park, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15

Looking upstream (S) along the Green River from the bridge to Beaver Park.
Looking upstream (S) along the Green River from the bridge to Beaver Park.

When Lupe reached Beaver Park, she went out into the big field to take a look around.  It was certainly a beautiful spot.  SPHP saw no easy way up Squaretop Mountain from down in Beaver Park.  The first part of Finis Mitchell’s route required a climb of 1,000 feet from Beaver Park up to Granite Lake just SW of Granite Peak.

Lupe reaches Beaver Park in the Wind River Range. Granite Peak is on the left. Photo looks N.
Lupe reaches Beaver Park in the Wind River Range. Granite Peak is on the left. Photo looks N.
Beaver Park.
Beaver Park.

It would probably have been possible to get a much better look at the route up the ledges to Squaretop Mountain that Finis Mitchell talked about in Wind River Trails from Granite Lake.  Earlier in the day going to Granite Lake had seemed like a great idea, but by now the 1,000 foot climb seemed like too much work.

Besides, the American Dingo had an injured dewclaw!  It was probably best not to overdo it.  Never mind that the Dingo seemed to have forgotten all about it.  The trek to Beaver Park along the Highline Trail had been a pleasant one, with lots of fabulous scenery and without a ton of elevation gain or loss.  Why not just enjoy the day?  Lupe still had to go all the way back to the G6.

Lupe and SPHP went over to the Green River again and took a break.  Lupe had Taste of the Wild and water.  She relaxed on the bank above the river and grew a bit sleepy.  SPHP looked at maps.  There were dramatic high cliffs on the mountain on the other side of the river.  After a little while, the sky seemed to cloud up more.  The day grew darker.

Lupe kind of dozes along the bank of the Green River near the upper end of Beaver Park.
Lupe kind of dozes along the bank of the Green River near the upper end of Beaver Park.

Lupe at Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15Lupe at Green River, Wind River Range, WY 8-30-15

High cliffs E of Beaver Park and the Green River.
High cliffs E of Beaver Park and the Green River.
Green River near Beaver Park. The sky started clouding up.
Green River near Beaver Park. The sky started clouding up.

Lupe had explored only a short segment of the Highline Trail coming to Beaver Park from Green River Lakes.  Backpackers doing the most popular through hike from Green River Lakes to Big Sandy reported estimated trip lengths of 7 to 9 days.  The entire trail is over 100 miles long, although portions beyond Green River Lakes and Big Sandy at either end are seldom used.

Lupe was only here for a day hike, though.  Beaver Park was about as far as Lupe and SPHP could go and still return in a day.  When it started to rain with tiny hailstones, Lupe and SPHP took refuge under tall pines near the Highline Trail.  It was time to think about heading back.  About the time the rain stopped, a forest ranger came along the trail from farther upstream.  This was an amazing thing in itself!

In all her many explorations and adventures, Lupe had never seen a forest ranger away from the pavement before.  This forest ranger was actually out in the forest, and doing what one thinks of as forest ranging.  SPHP talked to him.  His name was Chad.  Chad was quite friendly and full of information about the Wind River Range.  This was his 3rd year working in the Winds.

Chad said the Finis Mitchell route up Squaretop was rather hard to find, since some of the landmarks (like burnt areas in the forest) which Finis Mitchell used to describe the route had changed since Wind River Trails was written.  SPHP had been wondering if there wasn’t another easier route via the Porcupine Trail.  Chad confirmed that there was.  It was longer, though.  Chad had been up on Squaretop Mountain and knew what he was talking about.

After a fun chat with Chad, he needed to be moving along.  He was on his way up into high country near the Golden Lakes, and from there clear up to the glaciers beyond, to check on wildlife, hunters and climbers.  He would remain on the Highline Trail for a little while longer before looking for a place where he could leave the trail and climb up to Golden Lakes.

Lupe and SPHP followed Chad along the Highline Trail.  Despite carrying a huge, heavy pack, Chad was faster than SPHP.  Lupe and SPHP did catch up to him again several times when he stopped to chat to people along the trail.  The last time Lupe and SPHP reached him, he had stopped to have a sandwich before leaving the trail.  Chad very kindly gave Lupe some of his cheese sandwich.  (Dingoes love cheese!)

Lupe starts back across the bridge over the Green River leaving Beaver Park.
Lupe starts back across the bridge over the Green River leaving Beaver Park.
Looking back at Squaretop Mountain. Granite Peak is the comparatively small hill on the L.
Looking back at Squaretop Mountain. Granite Peak is the comparatively small forested hill in the sunlight on the L.
Lupe gets a bite of Chad's cheese sandwich at their last meeting. Chad was a real forest ranger - he actually spends his time in the mountains instead of at a desk.
Lupe gets a bite of Chad’s cheese sandwich at their last meeting. Chad was a real forest ranger – he actually spends his time patrolling in the mountains instead of sitting at a desk.  Chad was the first forest ranger Lupe ever saw actually patrolling in a forest.  He was a terrific, knowledgeable guy and in great shape, too.

On the way back, Lupe stayed on the Highline Trail until she was between the two Green River Lakes.  There she crossed the bridge over to the W side of the Green River.  Lupe headed for the intersection of the Porcupine Trail and Lakeside Trail.  To complete a loop around Lower Green River Lake, Lupe took the Lakeside Trail heading NNW near the W shore.

The Lakeside Trail was in forest much of the way.  There were only a few spots with open views from the trail on this side of the lake.  Most of the time, the Lakeside Trail stayed well above the shore.

An early evening view of Squaretop Mountain from Upper Green River Lake.
An early evening view of Squaretop Mountain from Upper Green River Lake.
The mountain NE of Lower Green River Lake from the Lakeside Trail. Photo looks NE.
The mountain NE of Lower Green River Lake from the Lakeside Trail. Photo looks NE.
Flat Top Mountain from the Lakeside Trail along Lower Green River Lake. Photo looks E.
Flat Top Mountain (11,823 ft.) from the Lakeside Trail along Lower Green River Lake. Photo looks E.
White Rock from the Lakeside Trail along Lower Green River Lake. White Rock is the mountain just E of Upper Green River Lake. Photo looks SSE.
White Rock from the Lakeside Trail along Lower Green River Lake. White Rock is the mountain just E of Upper Green River Lake. Photo looks SE.

It was 7:52 PM (66°F) when Lupe reached the G6 again.  After a glorious day along the Highline Trail to Beaver Park and back, she was ready for a whole can of Alpo before curling up with her blankie.  Maybe someday she will return to explore further along the Highline Trail, or take the Porcupine Trail and find the way up Squaretop Mountain.

What was for certain was that her final big adventure of her great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation would start the next day.  It would also take place in the Wind River Range of Wyoming.

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s 2015 Wyoming, Colorado & Utah Adventure IndexDingo Vacations Adventure Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

Going to the Winds – Green River Lakes & Squaretop Mountain, WY (8-29-15)

After successfully climbing Wyoming Peak (11,378 ft.) the prior day, Day 21 of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation was destined to be a bumpy one.  SPHP was determined NOT to take the same La Barge Creek Road (No. 315) out of the Wyoming Range that Lupe had taken into it.  There was no sense putting the G6 through that again.  SPHP checked the maps.  Heading for Big Piney looked like the shortest way out of the Wyoming Range.  Big Piney was also the closest to Lupe’s next destination – the fabulous Wind River Range.

Before 7:00 AM, Lupe and SPHP left the Wyoming Peak area driving S on Greys River road.  Lupe was very interested in a herd of 8 pronghorn antelope grazing in a valley.  More antelope could be seen up at the edge of the forest.  It was a gorgeous morning in the Wyoming Range.  A bit farther S, at a sign about the history of La Barge Meadow, SPHP stopped the G6 for a few minutes to let Lupe out to take a sniff of the morning air.History of La Barge Meadow, WY 8-29-15

Lupe visits La Barge Meadow in the Wyoming Range for a quick sniff of the cool morning air.
Lupe visits La Barge Meadow in the Wyoming Range for a quick sniff of the cool morning air.  Photo looks N.

Lupe and SPHP continued S from La Barge Meadow.  SPHP turned E on USFS Road No. 10128 where there was a sign indicating this road went to Big Piney.  No. 10128 was a good gravel road for a long way.  It went through some beautiful territory as it took Lupe down out of the Wyoming Range.  Part of the route was not so pretty, there were 5 miles of burnt forest along the way, too.

SPHP had hoped the experience with very rough dirt roads coming up La Barge Creek would not have to be repeated.  However, as Lupe continued E out of the Wyoming Range, as soon as the road left the Bridger National Forest to cross private land, it deteriorated significantly.  It wasn’t as bad as the 3 miles of crummy road coming up La Barge Creek, but made up for it by being twice as long – 6 miles of rocks, potholes, and big dips.

The road finally improved.  Lupe reached pavement on Hwy 350 about 10 miles W of Big Piney.  Two hours of bumping along on gravel and dirt roads finally came to an end, but there would be plenty more later in the day.  At Big Piney,  SPHP turned N on Hwy 189.  N of Big Piney there was a sign commemorating the Green River Rendezvous held annually from 1824 to 1840.  SPHP stopped to take a look.

This sign about the Green River Rendezvous held annually by fur traders from 1824 to 1840 was Just E of Hwy 189 N of Big Piney.
This sign about the Green River Rendezvous held annually by trappers and fur traders from 1824 to 1840 was Just E of Hwy 189 N of Big Piney.

The Green River was not in sight where the sign was, but there was a wooded area beyond the sign with a couple of dirt roads going back into it.  SPHP thought the dirt roads might lead to the river, so Lupe and SPHP took a walk back into the woods.  Pretty soon SPHP realized there were homes ahead.  Without ever finding the Green River, Lupe and SPHP went back to the G6.

At Pinedale, WY, Lupe and SPHP had a picnic at a city park on Pine Creek.  After the picnic, Lupe went wading in Pine Creek.  SPHP sat on a rock with feet dangling in the cool, clear water.  It felt really good.  Lupe curled up for a little nap in the tall grass along the shore.

The town of Pinedale lies just S of the heart of the Wind River range, which stretches over 100 miles in a NW/SE direction.  Gannet Peak, the highest mountain in Wyoming at 13,804 feet is in the Winds.  Of the 20 highest peaks in Wyoming, 19 are located in the Wind River range.  The single exception is the famous Grand Teton in the Teton range.

Lupe and SPHP left the city park to go see a few of the sights near Pinedale.  Lupe stopped by Half Moon Lake, one of a number of large lakes on the S side of the Wind River range left after the retreat of glaciers.  After wading in Pine Creek, Lupe didn’t seem inclined to go wading in Half Moon Lake, so Lupe and SPHP left to go check out the Fremont Lake campground.

Half Moon Lake near Pinedale, WY
Half Moon Lake near Pinedale, WY

The Fremont Lake campground was closed “until further notice”.  The gate was padlocked shut.  SPHP decided to take Lupe up Skyline Drive to Elkhart Park.  Lupe had been there once before near the end of her very first big Dingo Vacation in 2012.  Along Skyline Drive there are great views of Fremont Lake from high above.  Near the end of the road is a panoramic view of the highest and most rugged peaks of the central Wind River range.  At Elkhart Park are trails leading into the wilderness.

The road to Elkhart Park was blocked due to road construction.  A semi-truck carrying huge metal drainage pipes was being unloaded.  It looked like a long wait.  Another adventure got crossed off Lupe’s to do list.  She wasn’t going to wait around.

So Lupe and SPHP went back to Pinedale.  After a few errands there, Lupe headed W out of town on Hwy 191.  At Hwy 352, SPHP turned N.  Lupe was going to get a tour of the scenic Green River valley all the way to Green River Lakes at the NW end of the Wind River Range.  The paved road turned to gravel when it entered the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Lupe near the Green River shortly after it flows out of the Wind River range.
Lupe near the Green River shortly after it flows out of the Wind River range.

Green River, WY 8-29-15

The Green River starts high in the Wind River range. It flows out the NW end of the range and turns S to start its long journey to join the Colorado River.
The Green River starts high in the Wind River range. It flows out the NW end of the range and turns S to start its long journey to join the Colorado River.
Lupe had already seen the Green River much farther from its source on her 2015 Dingo Vacation. She crossed it near Dinosaur National Monument soon after entering Utah. She saw it again along the Little Hole Trail in Flaming Gorge.
Lupe had already seen the Green River much farther from its source on her 2015 Dingo Vacation. She crossed it near Dinosaur National Monument soon after entering Utah. She saw it again along the Little Hole Trail in Flaming Gorge.

The gravel road following the Green River into the Wind River range was long and very washboardy.  SPHP drove very slowly so the poor G6 wouldn’t end up just a bucket of bolts.  Huge pickup trucks, vans and SUV’s raced on by stirring up big clouds of dust.  The drive was gorgeous.  Slowly the Green River and road both curved around to the NE and then E.   When the river turned SE, SPHP knew Lupe was nearing her destination.

Finally, the mighty watchtower of the NW Wind River range, Squaretop Mountain (11,695 ft.), came into view.

Squaretop Mountain at the NW end of the Wind River range in Wyoming. Photo looks SE.
Squaretop Mountain at the NW end of the Wind River range in Wyoming. Photo looks SSE.

The washboardy road ended at Lower Green River Lake, the largest of two big lakes the Green River flows through as it leaves the Winds.  Lupe and SPHP left the G6 to go down to the beach.  The views of Squaretop Mountain looming beyond the Green River Lakes are among SPHP’s favorite mountain scenes anywhere.

Lower Green River Lake and Squaretop Mountain.
Lower Green River Lake and Squaretop Mountain.
Lupe hits the beach at Lower Green River Lake.
Lupe hits the beach at Lower Green River Lake.

Lupe at Lower Green River Lake, WY 8-29-15

Lost Eagle Peak (L), White Rock (Center), Squaretop Mountain (R) from Lower Green River Lake.
Lost Eagle Peak (11,838 ft.) (L), White Rock (11,284 ft.) (Center), and Squaretop Mountain (R) from Lower Green River Lake.

SPHP waded in the lake near the N shore.  The sand was coarse and loose.  Lupe didn’t want to get wet.  She played on the beach and explored the nearby vegetation.  SPHP threw a few sticks for her to chase, and played tug-of-war with her when she brought them back.  The American Dingo won every time in the end, but SPHP didn’t let it be too easy.

Lupe playing on the beach.
Lupe playing on the beach.

It was evening.  The sun was about to go down behind the mountains.  The long day bumping along so many gravel and dirt roads was ending.  Even the feisty Carolina Dog was getting a bit tired.  To the gentle sound of little waves lapping up against the lakeshore, Lupe laid down and went to sleep.Lupe asleep on the beach at Green River Lake, WY 8-29-15

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Wyoming Peak, Wyoming (8-28-15)

The morning of 8-28-15, Day 20 of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation, dawned bright and beautiful.  While Lupe started her day playing in the forest near the outlet stream from Spirit Lake in the Uinta Mountains, SPHP had decisions to make.  Up until now, Lupe’s vacation had been going pretty much according to plan.  The trouble was, Lupe had way more yet to do than time remaining to do it all in.

A bright morning greeted Lupe at the outlet stream from Spirit Lake in the Uinta Mountains of Utah.
A bright morning greeted Lupe at the outlet stream from Spirit Lake in the Uinta Mountains of Utah.

Before long, SPHP had decided which adventures had to go on the chopping block for this Dingo Vacation, and which would remain.  It was time to head out.  SPHP called Lupe back to the G6.  After just a few fun days in Utah (where she did live “Life Elevated”!), Lupe was going to head N into southwestern Wyoming.  Lupe loves riding in the G6, and was ready for whatever adventure lay ahead.

The first part of the drive was a long one on gravel USFS Roads.  Lupe left Spirit Lake on USFS Road No. 001.  When it reached the intersection with No. 221, instead of taking it E back to the Sheep Creek Geological Loop, SPHP took it N to Wyoming.  It was a very pretty drive that took Lupe out of the Uinta Mountains.

Lupe finally reached pavement again when she crossed Hwy 414 between McKinnon and Burnt Fork.  N of Hwy 414, a paved road headed NE through scenic ranchlands to meet up with Hwy 530 S of Green River, WY.  Heading N on Hwy 530, there was some pretty wild looking territory off to the E toward the N end of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.

After a short stop in the town of Green River, WY, Lupe went W on I-80 just 6 miles to Hwy 372.  Hwy 372 headed NW paralleling the Green River, but at some distance from it, so the river was often out of sight.  This territory was high, dry prairie land.  It was dominated by low hills and sagebrush.  In late August, it all looked hot, dusty and not terribly inviting.  Hwy 372 eventually led to Hwy 189, which Lupe took N to La Barge.

This sign along the Green River told a little about its history during the fur trading days of the early 1800's.
This sign along the Green River told a little about its history during the fur trading days of the early 1800’s.
The Green River was a huge lake N of the Fontenelle Reservoir dam.
The Green River was a huge lake N of the Fontenelle Reservoir dam.
This rather striking butte was E of Hwy 189 just a few miles S of La Barge, WY.
This rather striking butte was E of Hwy 189 just a few miles S of La Barge, WY.

After a quick tour of the small town of La Barge in the G6, Lupe and SPHP drove 2 miles S on Hwy 189, and turned W on La Barge Creek Road, No. 315.  The first 11 miles of No. 315 were paved.  After that it turned to gravel.  The road headed W, before gradually turning N as it followed the beautiful La Barge Creek valley upstream.  The valley grew progressively narrower as the road went on.

La Barge Creek.
La Barge Creek.

La Barge Creek, WY 8-28-15About 20 miles from Hwy 189, suddenly the gravel road deteriorated sharply.  For 3 miles it crossed private land where the road was so poor that SPHP considered just turning the G6 around.  If the road had been at all wet, there wouldn’t have been any choice.  High clearance vehicles wouldn’t have any problem with it, but the road was just about all the challenge the G6 could take on.

After 3 miles, the road entered the Bridger National Forest, where it immediately improved.  There were still some pretty rough spots now and then, but nothing like what the G6 had just come through.  SPHP resolved to leave the area by some other route.

Lupe was now up in the mountains of the Wyoming Range.  Her destination was Wyoming Peak (11,378 ft.), the highest mountain in the entire range.  Of more immediate interest to Lupe, cows were grazing in the high mountain valleys.  There was plenty of hard barking going on in the G6, even though most of the cows were so far away they were unaware of the frantic Carolina Dog passing by.

Lupe was determined to bark at every cow she saw on her 2015 Dingo Vacation, no matter how far away they were.
Lupe was determined to bark at every cow she saw on her 2015 Dingo Vacation, no matter how far away they were.  Actually, it was good enough if she could just smell them.  In her excitement, she barked at plenty of cows that weren’t even there!

SPHP had some notes on how to find the trailhead for Wyoming Peak, but what little signage there was at the few intersections along the road didn’t match up real well with the notes.  SPHP just kept driving slowly N looking for USFS Road No. 10126, which leads to the trailhead.  Finally a high peak came into view.  It had to be Wyoming Peak!

Wyoming Peak is the highest point at the center of this photo. Photo looks NE.
Wyoming Peak is the highest point at the center of this photo. Photo looks NE from Greys River Road.

SPHP soon found USFS Road No. 10126 at the confluence of Greys River and Shale Creek.  This point was 41 miles from where La Barge Creek Road had left Hwy 189.  Greys River was a pretty good sized stream, even in late August, but Shale Creek was quite small.  The trailhead was supposed to be 3.5 miles in along No. 10126.  As poor as the main road had been in places, SPHP didn’t want to try taking the G6 up No. 10126.  Lupe would have to walk.

It seemed like it was already pretty late in the day to think about climbing Wyoming Peak, especially when it was a 3.5 mile hike just to get to the trailhead.  However, SPHP thought it wouldn’t hurt to at least scout things out.  The weather was clear and favorable.  Maybe Lupe could still make it up Wyoming Peak today.  Lupe and SPHP left the G6 at the start of USFS Road No. 10126 at 2:56 PM (70°F), and began following the road up Shale Creek.

There really wasn’t much of a trailhead.  At a bend in the road was a marker, and a trail heading up a hillside, but there were no big signs and no parking area where the trail to Wyoming Peak left No. 10126.  Lupe and SPHP started up the trail.  At first it was pretty steep, but before too long, the trail started on a series of long switchbacks.

Lupe starts her climb up Wyoming Peak. This photo looks W from near the trail.
Lupe starts her climb up Wyoming Peak. This photo looks W from near the trail.

The trail Lupe was following climbs Wyoming Peak from the SW.  It appeared to get only moderate use, and was often rather narrow.  Even so, most of the trail was in quite good condition.  It was always easy to follow.  There was only one tricky spot at a sharp bend where red dirt had eroded away from the trail down into a steep gully.  The tricky part was very short.  Lupe and SPHP were beyond it in just a few seconds.

The entire W slope of Wyoming Peak is consistently steep, but whoever designed the trail did an excellent job.  There were steep parts at the very beginning and the very end, but for the great majority of the climb, the trail consisted of long switchbacks rising at just the right pace.  SPHP didn’t have to stop to rest very often.  It was easy to make fast progress up the mountain.

Before reaching tree line, the trail also made good use of available shade.  It passed through some of the scattered forests along the way.  In between the forested areas, the trail was exposed to big views to the W.  The combination of shady rest stops along with great views made for a very fun climb.

High on the mountain Lupe came to this rocky section of trail. Most of the trail up was not very rocky at all.
High on the mountain Lupe came to this rocky section of trail. Most of the trail was not very rocky at all for such a big mountain.

Near the end of the climb, the trail reached a saddle between Wyoming Peak to the N and Mount March Madness (11,220 ft.) to the S.  Much of the rest of the way to the top, the trail consisted of very short, steep switchbacks full of loose rock.  Despite the late start, Lupe made it to the summit of Wyoming Peak an hour before sunset!

Lupe takes a break at the saddle between Wyoming Peak and Mount March Madness. Photo looks S at Mount March Madness.
Lupe takes a break at the saddle between Wyoming Peak and Mount March Madness. Photo looks S at Mount March Madness, which greatly resembled a pyramid.
Lupe at the summit of Wyoming Peak. What lofty mountaintop is complete without a pile of man-made rubble?
Lupe at the summit of Wyoming Peak. What lofty mountaintop is complete without a despicable pile of man-made rubble?

SPHP was not happy with the ugly collapsed building on top of Wyoming Peak.  SPHP stuffed as many broken little boards with nails in them, and other small hazardous looking pieces of debris as possible into a sack.  The sack went in the backpack to be disposed of later.  Only 10,000 more trips and Wyoming Peak will be junk free again!

The views were really great from Wyoming Peak.  The view that captured the imagination the most was a very high and rugged mountain far away to the N.  It was so far away, the camera just wouldn’t capture its faint outline.  SPHP was almost certain that distant peak had to be the famous Grand Teton (13,770 ft.). Lupe and SPHP spent more than half an hour up on Wyoming Peak, while the sun sank steadily in the W.

Looking N at the rather ominously named Mount Coffin from Wyoming Peak.
Looking N at the rather ominously named Mount Coffin (11,242 ft.) from Wyoming Peak.
Looking NE. The Wind River range could be seen on the horizon, but there was enough smoke haze so the camera didn't pick it up.
Looking NE. The Wind River range could be seen on the horizon, but there was enough haze so the camera didn’t pick it up.
Using the telephoto lens to peer a bit farther N through the smoke haze.
Using the telephoto lens to peer a bit farther N through the smoke haze.  The ridge in the foreground is part of Mount Coffin.
Lupe squints for another photo with the low slanting sunlight on her face. Photo looks SE.
Lupe squints for another photo with the low slanting sunlight on her face. Photo looks SE.
Mount March Madness from the top of Wyoming Peak. Photo looks S.
Mount March Madness from the top of Wyoming Peak. Photo looks S.
Lupe ready for a break from all the photo ops. The shot looks E.
Lupe ready for a break from all the photo ops.  Photo looks E.
Another telephoto lens shot.
Another telephoto lens shot.
You done yet, SPHP? There's not a single squirrel up here!
“You done yet, SPHP? There’s not a single squirrel up here!”

With the sun sinking into a smoky haze from distant forest fires, it wasn’t possible to get a decent picture toward the W.  Lupe and SPHP saw mountain ranges off in that direction, though, too.  They were lined up one after another, fainter and fainter as far off into the horizon as it was possible to see.

Lupe and SPHP sat together admiring the world from the top of Wyoming Peak.  When it became clear the sun was just going to sink into the murk without any particularly wonderful sunset, it was time to go.  Lupe may as well get a good start down the mountain before it got dark.

Lupe does some off trail exploring on the way down Wyoming Peak. Mt. Coffin is seen to the N.
Lupe does some off trail exploring on the way down Wyoming Peak. Mt. Coffin is seen to the N.
Lupe going down the trail SW of Wyoming Peak.
Lupe going down the trail SW of Wyoming Peak.

Fading light from Wyoming Peak, 8-28-15Lupe was about 80% of the way down the trail by the time it was so dark the flashlight had to come out.  When she reached Shale Creek Road (USFS No. 10126) again, Lupe wanted to take a break.  She had water and what was left of her Taste of the Wild.  Then she just curled up for 15 minutes before she was ready to go again.

In the meantime, a nearly full moon had come up over the side of Mount March Madness.  The flashlight was no longer needed.  Together Lupe and SPHP traveled the moonlit road beneath the shining stars.Mount March Madness from Wyoming Peak, WY 8-28-15

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Walk Up Peak & Taylor Peak, Utah (8-27-15)

A little before 7:00 AM on Day 19 of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation, things weren’t looking too promising.  The G6 was all wet.  It must have rained during the night.  Low gray clouds hid the sky.  It looked like it might rain all day.

Within 20 minutes, though, a patch of blue sky appeared.  It started spreading rapidly.  By the time Lupe and SPHP reached the trailhead near Spirit Lake Lodge, half the sky was already blue.  It was going to be a great day to climb Walk Up Peak (12,365 ft.), after all!

At 7:34 AM (48°F), Lupe started along the Tamarack Lake trail through the still damp forest.  By the time she reached Tamarack Lake, the clouds were almost all gone.  Tamarack Lake was gorgeous.  Brightly lit mountains reflected on the smooth, calm surface.  The NE ridge leading to Walk Up Peak was in view across the lake.

Lupe along the Tamarack Lake trail.
Lupe along the Tamarack Lake trail.
Tamarack Lake is about 1.5 miles W of Spirit Lake. Photo looks SW across the lake towards the NE ridge leading up to Walk Up Peak.
Tamarack Lake is about 1.5 miles W of Spirit Lake. Photo looks SW across the lake toward the NE ridge leading up to Walk Up Peak.
Lupe at Tamarack Lake. This photo looks SE. SPHP believes the mountain is Dagget Peak.
Lupe at Tamarack Lake. This photo looks SE.

Tamarack Lake, UT 8-27-15Tamarack Lake, UT 8-27-15Lupe followed the trail heading W through the forest.  The trail stayed pretty close to the N shore of Tamarack Lake.  By the time she reached the W end of the lake, a breeze had picked up.  There were little waves on the lake now.

Lupe near the W end of N shore of Tamarack Lake.
Lupe near the W end of the N shore of Tamarack Lake.

The trail had gained only about 200 feet of elevation in the 1.5 to 2 miles from the trailhead to Tamarack Lake.  Once the trail got past the W end of the lake, it quickly gained another 300 feet going up a forested ridge.  Up on the higher ground, the trail continued W through the forest until it broke out into the open.  The trail headed across grasslands straight for a big pond.

Lupe reaches the E shore of the big pond. Photo looks W.
Lupe reaches the E shore of the big pond. Photo looks W.
Looking S at the ridge that leads to Walk Up Peak. SPHP named this biggest pond N of the peak Walk Up Pond.
Looking S at the ridge that leads to Walk Up Peak. SPHP named this biggest pond N of the ridge Walk Up Pond.

Lupe circled around the N and W shores of the big pond.  SPHP named it Walk Up Pond, since it was the largest of several ponds to the N of the big ridge leading to Walk Up Peak.  Lupe headed S towards the forest at the base of the big ridge.  Along the way, she came to a much smaller pond half full of reeds.  SPHP cleverly named this Reed Pond.

Lupe E of Reed Pond, a smaller pond S of Walk Up Pond. Don't expect to find this name on any map. SPHP made it up.
Lupe E of Reed Pond, a smaller pond S of Walk Up Pond. Don’t expect to find this name on any map. SPHP made it up.

Lupe reached the forest S of the ponds.  Her climb up the big ridge to Walk Up Peak now began in earnest.  She liked the forest, and spent her time there looking up hoping to find squirrels to bark at in the trees.  The forest really didn’t go very far up the mountain, though.  Soon SPHP was through the forest.  Lupe entered a narrow band of small bushes.  When Lupe got above the bushes, there was only heather, rocks, and a brisk N breeze.

Lupe is getting near the upper end of the forest here. Fish Lake is seen to the W.
Lupe getting near tree line. Fish Lake is seen to the W.
Lupe is in the zone of small bushes here. Above the bushes is only rocks and heather.
Lupe in the zone of small bushes. Above the bushes are only rocks and heather.
Rocks and heather on the big ridge leading to Walk Up Peak. Photo looks SW.
Rocks and heather on the big ridge leading to Walk Up Peak. Photo looks WSW.

The highest part of the big ridge Lupe was climbing from the N went for many miles in an E/W direction.  The high country was all open and gently rolling.  There were numerous peaks spread out along the ridge.  The peaks weren’t particularly impressive.  They just looked like really big round hills.  Even so, the views from the high country were vast and splendid.

Lupe reaches the high country. Although the high country was gently rolling, there were some pretty steep drop-offs near the edge. Photo looks E.
Lupe reaches the high country. Although the high country was gently rolling, there were some pretty steep drop-offs near the edge. Photo looks E.
The biggest lake seen here is Tamarack Lake. Photo looks NE. Spirit Lake where Lupe started her adventure is the lake farthest away on the right.
The biggest lake seen here is Tamarack Lake.  Spirit Lake, where Lupe started her adventure, is the lake farthest away on the right.  Photo looks NE.
Walk Up Lake seen here is not the same as the big pond SPHP named Walk Up Pond. Walk Up Lake is S of the big ridgeline. Photo looks SE.
Walk Up Lake S of the big ridgeline.  (Not the same as Walk Up Pond, which is N.)  Photo looks SE.
The highest hill with the shadows of clouds on it at the center of this photo is Dagget Peak. The slightly higher hill beyond it to the right is Eccentric Benchmark. Walk Up Lake is in the foreground. Photo looks ESE from the E end of Walk Up Peak.
The highest hill with the shadows of clouds on it at the center of this photo is Dagget Peak (12,040 ft.). The slightly higher hill beyond it to the right is Eccentric Benchmark (12,276 ft.) (Chepeta Peak). Walk Up Lake is in the foreground. Photo looks ESE from the E end of Walk Up Peak.

Walk Up Peak was another really big hill, similar to the others along the ridgeline.  Lupe had to make a long trek to the W from where she came up the ridge to get to the top of Walk Up Peak.

There was no marker at the high point on Walk Up Peak.  The top of the mountain was just a barren field of rocks and heather like the rest of the ridge.  Lupe did find a cairn just a little way to the NW, though, where the views were best.

Lupe reaches the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak. The cairn is a little way NW of the actual summit, which Lupe had already visited. Photo looks WSW toward Taylor Peak, the next big hill along the ridge.
Lupe reaches the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak. The cairn is a short distance NW of the actual summit, which Lupe had already visited. Photo looks WSW toward Taylor Peak, the next big hill along the ridge.
Looking WNW from the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak.
Looking WNW from the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak.
This photo looks ENE from near the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak. It shows a good deal of the ground Lupe traversed to get here. She climbed up from the left side of the photo near the far end of the ridge. Dagget Peak and Eccentric Benchmark at the 2 big hills in the distance at the right edge of the picture.
This photo looks ENE from near the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak. It shows a good deal of the high ground Lupe traversed to get here. She climbed up from the left side of the photo near the far end of the ridge. Dagget Peak and Eccentric Benchmark are the 2 big hills in the distance at the right edge of the picture.

It was windy up on Walk Up Peak.  The wind had been blowing ever since Lupe reached the high country.  Puffy white clouds raced across the sky heading S or SE.  Lupe doesn’t really like wind, but it wasn’t too bad.  She was willing to go onward and climb another peak.  Taylor Peak (12,600 ft.) was next in line to the W.  Lupe and SPHP headed off in that direction, leaving Walk Up Peak behind.

Down at the lowest part of the saddle between Walk Up Peak and Taylor Peak, Lupe discovered an odd looking little tower.  It looked like some kind of weather station to SPHP.  Lupe wasn’t sure, she was more suspicious.  It just didn’t look right to her.  She investigated it cautiously at first, before deciding it was nothing to worry about.

Lupe checks out the possible weather station between Walk Up and Taylor Peaks.
Lupe checks out the possible weather station between Walk Up and Taylor Peaks.

The summit of Taylor Peak was a huge jumble of purple-gray rocks interspersed with heather.  Lupe found a summit cairn in the midst of the sea of rocks.  The cairn was so far from the edge of the mountain that the only interesting view was off to the WSW.  There were some high mountains in that direction.  SPHP wondered if the highest one might not be Kings Peak, the highest point in all of Utah.  It was in the right direction, so maybe it was Kings Peak, but SPHP was not certain.

Lupe wasn’t worried about the view.  She was tired of the wind and ready for a rest.  After some water and Taste of the Wild, a comfy bit of heather near the summit cairn on Taylor Peak served as a Dingo bed.  She wanted SPHP to scratch her belly.  It must have felt good.  After a few minutes she was asleep.  Lupe and SPHP stayed at the cairn for a good long while.  It was a great place to be.  Lupe and SPHP hadn’t seen another soul all day, and wouldn’t see anyone on the way back either.

Lupe reaches the summit cairn on Taylor Peak amidst a sea of purple-gray rocks.
Lupe reaches the summit cairn on Taylor Peak amidst a sea of purple-gray rocks.
Is that Kings Peak, the highest mountain in Utah, in the distance? SPHP thought maybe it was, but didn't really know.
Is that Kings Peak (13,528 ft.), the highest mountain in Utah, in the distance? SPHP thought maybe it was, but didn’t really know.  Photo looks WSW from Taylor Peak.
Lupe chillin' on Taylor Peak. She wished the wind would stop, but it didn't.
Lupe chillin’ on Taylor Peak. She wished the wind would stop, but it didn’t.

After a while, it was time to go.  There were more peaks farther W along the ridge, but the puffy white clouds seemed to be getting more and more numerous.  It was afternoon, and a long way back to the G6.  The N wind wasn’t all that strong, but it was relentless.  It was probably best to head back, rather than go any farther.

The way back was just a retracement of Lupe’s journey to Taylor Peak.  On the way, she visited the summit of Walk Up Peak again for another look.

A view to the ESE from Taylor Peak. Elbow Lake is the closest one. A portion of Chepeta Lake is seen beyond it.
Before leaving Taylor Peak, Lupe went to check out this view to the ESE. Elbow Lake is the long skinny one. A portion of Chepeta Lake is seen beyond it.
Looking NW from near the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak.
Looking NW at the Burnt Fork Lakes from near the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak.
Looking SE from the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak toward the actual summit.
Looking SE from the summit cairn on Walk Up Peak toward the actual summit.
A last look at Walk Up Lake and the country S of the big ridge. Photo looks SE.
A last look at Walk Up Lake and the country S of the big ridge. Photo looks SE.

By the time Lupe started heading down the N side of the big ridge, the weather was starting to look a bit ominous.  The clouds to the NW looked bigger and darker than before.  Maybe it was going to rain?

As Lupe heads down the N side of the big ridge, the weather looks like rain is a possibility. Photo looks W toward Fish Lake.
As Lupe heads down the N side of the big ridge, the clouds look like rain is a possibility. Photo looks W toward Fish Lake.

The wind grew stronger.  Dark clouds sailed by.  It rained, but only a few drops.  There was no thunder or lightning.  By the time Lupe was down to the forest near the base of the big ridge, it was all over.  The clouds were gone, the wind had died down, and it was a beautiful day again.

By the time Lupe reached the forest, it was a beautiful day again.
By the time Lupe reached the forest, it was a beautiful day again.

Lupe was glad to get back to the forest.  There was no wind!  There were squirrels!  It was fun!  Lupe explored the forest with enthusiasm.  In hardly any time at all, she was back to Tamarack Lake.

Lupe approaching Tamarack Lake from the W.
Lupe approaching Tamarack Lake from the W.
Back at Tamarack Lake.
Back at Tamarack Lake.

Near the E end of Tamarack Lake, there was a side trail that went 1/3 mile S to Jessen Lake.   It seemed like a fun thing to do.  There was time and the weather was now lovely, so Lupe took the side trail.  It went through the forest just E of Tamarack Lake.

Lupe on her way to Jessen Lake. Here she is E of Tamarack Lake.
Lupe on her way to Jessen Lake. Here she is E of Tamarack Lake.

Jessen Lake was smaller than Tamarack Lake.  It was tucked more closely beneath the big ridge to the S.  Forests surrounded the entire lake.  Lupe followed the trail E along the N shore.

Jessen Lake.
Jessen Lake.

At the NE corner of Jessen Lake, a stream left the lake flowing NE.  The Jessen Lake trail paralleled the stream, making a loop back to the main trail.  Lupe was now less than 0.5 mile from the trailhead at Spirit Lake.  The fun wasn’t over quite yet, though!  The pines along the main trail were full of squirrels trying to enjoy the evening.  The joyous high-pitched barking of an American Dingo echoed through the forest.

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Flaming Gorge, The Little Hole Trail by the Green River & Spirit Lake, Utah (8-26-15)

The skies were overcast on the first morning Lupe ever spent in the state of Utah.  They remained so all day.  After the hot drive across NW Colorado on the way to Utah the previous day, Lupe and SPHP were glad.  Day 18 of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation was beginning up in the Uinta Mountains under much more tolerable conditions.

Lupe’s day started out with a visit to the Flaming Gorge dam on the Green River.

Lupe at the Flaming Gorge reservoir near the dam.
Lupe near Flaming Gorge dam.
When full, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir extends 91 miles N of the dam well into Wyoming, and has over 42,000 acres of surface area.
When full, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir extends 91 miles N of the dam well into Wyoming, and has over 42,000 acres of surface area.
This Flaming Gorge Visitor Center is located right at the W end of the dam.
This Flaming Gorge Visitor Center is located right at the W end of the dam.

Near the E end of the dam, there is a winding paved access road down to the Green River below the dam.  SPHP had been there before, years ago, and taken a half day raft trip down the Green River to Little Hole about 6 miles downstream.  SPHP remembered the raft trip as a pleasant, easy float with only a few small rapids.  The Green River itself had been beautiful, cool and clear as it passed through the lower end of Red Canyon.  Juniper-dotted red cliffs rose as much as 1,000 feet above the river.

The 502 foot high Flaming Gorge Dam was built in 1969. It is actually built across Red Canyon, not Flaming Gorge, which is farther upstream and now submerged by the reservoir.
The 502 foot high Flaming Gorge Dam was built in 1969. It is actually built across Red Canyon, not Flaming Gorge, which is farther upstream and now submerged by the reservoir.
The Green River below Flaming Gorge dam.
The Green River below Flaming Gorge dam.

Lupe wasn’t going to get to go river rafting, but SPHP thought she would enjoy the Little Hole Trail alongside the Green River.  Things had changed since SPHP had been here before, though.  It used to be free to just drive on down to the boat launch next to the river.  Halfway down there is now a parking lot and a fee booth.  It costs $5.00 to park or go down to the river.

After parking the G6, Lupe and SPHP left the parking lot along the Little Hole Trail.  The first thing Lupe came to was a big sign with a bunch of bureaucratic regulations, a couple of which neither Lupe nor SPHP had ever encountered anywhere else before.

Sheesh, they sure were bureaucratic here in Utah! Not only was Lupe prohibited from throwing rocks, she couldn't pitch people or vehicles over the cliff either!
Sheesh, they sure were bureaucratic here in Utah. Not only was Lupe prohibited from throwing rocks, she couldn’t pitch people or vehicles over the cliff either!

The first short section of the Little Hole Trail wound its way down the steep hillside.  There was a lot of cactus around, so Lupe had to be careful.  Soon Lupe was down next to the Green River.

Lupe along the Little Hole Trail on the way down to the Green River.
Lupe along the Little Hole Trail on the way down to the Green River.
Lupe reaches the Green River.
Lupe reaches the Green River.

Lupe at the Green River, UT 8-26-15Lupe at the Green River, UT 8-26-15Once down to the river, Lupe and SPHP followed the Little Hole Trail downstream.  No one was rafting on the river, but there were lots of  boats with people fly fishing from them.

Lupe on the Little Hole Trail by the Green River.
Lupe on the Little Hole Trail by the Green River.

Lupe near the Green River, UT 8-26-15Green River below Flaming Gorge dam, UT 8-26-15Lupe explores the Little Hole Trail, UT 8-26-15Lupe didn’t follow the Little Hole Trail all the way to Little Hole.  She only went a couple of miles downstream at most.  SPHP thought it might be fun to take Lupe upstream to the boat launch area below Flaming Gorge Dam.

A wooden walkway allowed Lupe to head upstream far enough to reach the boat launch below Flaming Gorge dam.
A wooden walkway allowed Lupe to head upstream far enough to reach the boat launch below Flaming Gorge dam.

Lupe below Flaming Gorge dam, UT 8-26-15

A look up at Hwy 191 near the E end of Flaming Gorge dam.
A look up at Hwy 191 near the E end of Flaming Gorge dam.
Lupe liked watching these big birds circling near the dam.
Lupe liked watching these big birds circling near the dam.  (Click on the photo to enlarge it and see them better!)

Lupe waded in the shallow waters of the Green River near the boat launch.  She had a good drink.  She watched big birds circling up in the sky near the dam.  She watched fishermen getting ready to launch their boats.  Then she was ready to go.

Lupe seemed content with her visit to Flaming Gorge dam and the Green River below it.  Now it was time to complete her Flaming Gorge experience by taking a look at the reservoir from the cliffs above.  Lupe and SPHP left the Little Hole Trail.  After a picnic at a pond called West Green Lake, where there were ducks and a heron, Lupe arrived at the Red Canyon Visitor Center & Lookout.  Lupe couldn’t go in the visitor center, but she could go take a look at Flaming Gorge reservoir from the high cliffs at the lookout.

Lupe at the Red Canyon Lookout above Flaming Gorge reservoir.
Lupe at the Red Canyon Lookout above Flaming Gorge reservoir.
Looking upstream from the Red Canyon Lookout.
Looking upstream from the Red Canyon Lookout.

Flaming Gorge from Red Canyon Lookout, UT 8-26-15

Looking downstream.
Looking downstream.

Flaming Gorge, UT 8-26-15The views of Red Canyon and the Flaming Gorge reservoir were impressive from way up on the high cliffs.  The cliff tops were interesting, too.  There were big cracks and deep fissures in the rocks.  It wasn’t hard to imagine some pretty big chunks of the cliff crashing to the bottom some day.

After seeing Red Canyon from above, Lupe was ready to move on.  Her next destination was Spirit Lake on the N side of the Uintas.  Lupe and SPHP took Hwy 44 to the Sheep Creek Geological Loop.  At the SW corner of the loop was a turn off onto gravel USFS Roads.  It was a fairly long drive, somewhere close to 20 miles from the pavement, to get to Spirit Lake.

Lupe reaches the N end of Spirit Lake in the Uinta Mountains.
Lupe reaches the N end of Spirit Lake in the Uinta Mountains.

Lupe and SPHP stopped first at the N end of Spirit Lake at a pullout near the outlet stream.  Lupe enjoyed getting out and exploring the area.  SPHP was more relaxed about letting her enjoy herself, too.  There weren’t any big cliffs around, just the lake, stream and the forest.

The sky grew darker and the wind started blowing.  Pretty soon it started to rain.  The wind hadn’t bothered Lupe, but Carolina Dogs know enough to come in out of the rain.  She hopped in the G6 and took a nap, while SPHP read.  After about half an hour, the rain quit.  Although the wind and rain were over, the sky was still leaden.  Before it got too late, SPHP thought it might be a good idea to check out Spirit Lake Lodge and the trailhead at the S end of the lake.

Spirit Lake Lodge at the S end of Spirit Lake in the Uinta Mountains. This lodge is at the end of long gravel roads to get here. It felt isolated and remote. Lupe and SPHP liked it.
Spirit Lake Lodge at the S end of Spirit Lake in the Uinta Mountains. This lodge is at the very end of long gravel roads to get here. It felt isolated and remote. Lupe and SPHP liked the area.  There is also a campground and a trailhead near by.

The Spirit Lake Lodge had a number of very rustic looking cabins.  Each cabin had its own name taken from an early western explorer.  Only one or two of the cabins appeared to be rented out for the night.  From outside, most of the cabins looked like they needed maintenance.   The lodge was open, though, and a sign said they were serving meals.

This cabin is named after John Wesley Powell, who gave Flaming Gorge its name after exploring it via the Green River in 1869. Other cabins were named after other explorers.
This cabin is named after John Wesley Powell, who gave Flaming Gorge its name after exploring it via the Green River in 1869. Other cabins were named after other explorers.

Lupe went down to check out the dock on Spirit Lake.  There were a few small boats available for rent there.

The dock at the S end of Spirit Lake.
The dock at the S end of Spirit Lake.

On the way back from the dock to the G6, a moose wandered through between the cabins, apparently quite at home here.  It headed out across a field in front of the Spirit Lake Lodge.  How cool is that?

A moose trots past Spirit Lake Lodge. This was only the 2nd moose Lupe had ever seen. She saw one once before in Canada in 2014.
A moose trots past Spirit Lake Lodge. This was only the 2nd moose Lupe had ever seen. She saw one once before in Canada in 2014.

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s 2015 Wyoming, Colorado & Utah Adventure IndexDingo Vacations Adventure Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

Way Down South, Independence Pass, Colorado & Going to Utah (8-25-15)

After two huge climbs on the previous two days up to Mount Elbert and Mount Massive, the highest peaks in Colorado, it was time for Lupe to move on.  It was 8-25-15, already Day 17 of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation.   SPHP gassed up the G6 before leaving Leadville, CO, and then headed S on Highway 24.  A short time later, Lupe achieved another personal first: Lupe reached the southernmost point she has ever been to at the junction of Highways 24 and 82.

SPHP turned W on Highway 82.  Soon Lupe was at Twin Lakes, which she and SPHP had seen for the first time from up on top of Mount Elbert two days before.

Lupe at Twin Lakes, Colorado, close to as far S as she has ever been. Photo looks SW.
Lupe at Twin Lakes, Colorado, close to as far S as she has ever been. Photo looks SW.

After a wonderful time in the mountains of N Central Colorado, Lupe was on her way out of the state.  She would see quite a bit of scenic NW Colorado on the way.  Highway 82 went over 12,095 ft. Independence Pass.  Lupe and SPHP took the short walkway there to a viewpoint overlooking more beautiful mountains of the Colorado Rockies.

Looking SW from Independence Pass.
Looking SW from Independence Pass.

Lupe at Independence Pass, CO 8-25-15Once over Independence Pass, Hwy 82 lost a great deal of elevation on its way to Aspen.  From Aspen, Hwy 82 continued losing elevation, although at a reduced rate, all the way to Glenwood Springs.  Lupe and SPHP stopped at a park next to the highway for a picnic.  SPHP would have liked to have gone to the hot springs in Glenwood Springs, but it was near noon.  It was hot, approaching 80°F – too hot to leave Lupe unattended for any length of time in the G6.

It got hotter as the day wore on.  Until now, Lupe and SPHP had spent the vast majority of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation at 8,000 to 12,000 feet.  At these lower elevations, the heat was oppressive.  In the G6, however, Lupe rode in air conditioned comfort as the miles clicked by.  Lupe and SPHP headed W from Glenwood Springs on I-70.  It wasn’t too far to Rifle, where SPHP stopped at a McDonald’s to buy Lupe a hot fudge sundae.

From Rifle, Lupe went N on Highway 13.  SPHP soon turned W onto Piceance Creek Road.  Piceance Creek Road was interesting.  It went 40 miles down a valley that gradually turned to the N.  It was 10 miles before Piceance Creek had any water in it.  Piceance Creek never became a very big stream.  The valley grew wider as it lost elevation.  It was bordered by low juniper and sage-brush covered mountains.  There were cows and horses near the creek in the valley, which kept Lupe entertained for miles.

Lupe reached the White River again when Piceance Creek Road reached Highway 64.  Lupe had seen the North Fork of the White River before.  It flows out of Trappers Lake in the Flat Top Mountains.  The scenery heading W on Highway 64 was interesting, but not inviting.  Lupe was heading into increasingly barren territory.  By the time she reached Rangely, even the sagebrush was sparse and struggling.  It was 97°F in Rangely.

Beyond Rangely everything was hot, thirsty, white and barren.  Late August was no time to be visiting here.  At Dinosaur, though, SPHP did stop to get a picture of Lupe with a cool, colorful Stegosaurus.

Lupe at the cool Stegosaurus at Dinosaur, Colorado.
Lupe at the cool Stegosaurus at Dinosaur, Colorado.

SPHP would have loved to take Lupe to Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument.  Echo Park is located at the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers.  It is a beautiful spot down in a big canyon with vertical rock walls, and very worth seeing.  However, SPHP knew the G6 might have trouble with the road there, which is best traversed with a high clearance vehicle.  (SPHP once put a hole in a Chevy Corsica’s oil pan on that road – not an experience SPHP was eager to repeat.)

So Lupe missed out on Echo Park.  Instead she turned W on Highway 40 at Dinosaur.  A big event was only a short distance away.  Lupe was going to enter the state of Utah for the very first time.  It had been nearly 2 years since Lupe last visited a new state, so it was an event worthy of note.  Soon Utah became Lupe’s 11th state!

Lupe reaches Utah, her 11th state. She did indeed plan to live "Life Elevated" there!
Lupe reaches Utah, her 11th state. She did indeed plan to live “Life Elevated” there!

Near Jensen, Utah, Lupe stopped by the sign for the Dinosaur National Monument Fossil Bone Quarry.  The quarry features quite an amazing exhibit of dinosaur bones.  The partially exposed bones are on display in their original locations on a hillside which has been enclosed with a building.  The Quarry Exhibit Hall serves both to protect the fossils and as a visitor center.Lupe in Utah 8-25-15Of course, Lupe could not go into the Quarry Exhibit Hall, so there was no point in even going all the way to it.  Instead, Lupe got to go see the Green River just below the Highway 40 bridge.

Lupe at the Green River where Highway 40 crosses it just E of Jensen, Utah.
Lupe at the Green River where Highway 40 crosses it just E of Jensen, Utah.

It was almost 5:00 PM by the time Lupe reached Vernal, Utah.  SPHP had hoped to get some pictures of Lupe with some dinosaurs outside the Dinosaur Museum.  It had been years since SPHP had been to Vernal, though.  The Dinosaur Museum (officially the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum) had moved.  It is now housed in much fancier quarters.  Unfortunately, the museum closed at 5:00 PM.  Although there were dinosaurs outside the building, they were all behind walls and fences.

SPHP had to settle for taking a picture of Lupe and the profusion of petunias along the street.

This happy pink dino welcomed Lupe to Vernal, UT as she came into town from the E along Hwy 40.
This happy pink dino welcomed Lupe to Vernal, UT as she came into town from the E along Hwy 40.
Lupe outside the Dinosaur Museum in Vernal, UT. It was closed by the time Lupe and SPHP got there, or SPHP would have bought Lupe a ticket just for some photo ops with the dinosaurs outside the building.
Lupe outside the Dinosaur Museum in Vernal, UT. It was closed by the time Lupe and SPHP got there, or SPHP would have bought Lupe a ticket just for some photo ops with the dinosaurs outside the building.
Pretty puppy poses with piles of petunias in Vernal, Utah.
Pretty puppy poses with a profusion of petunias in Vernal, Utah.

Lupe and SPHP toured Vernal, Utah.  It looked like a thriving place with lots of new stores and development.  It was like an oven there though, at 98°F when Lupe arrived.  It was still 91°F at sunset when Lupe left town heading N on Highway 191.  Up in the Uinta Mountains, it was 59°F when SPHP parked the G6 for the night.  So much better!

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s 2015 Wyoming, Colorado & Utah Adventure IndexDingo Vacations Adventure Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

Mount Massive, Colorado (8-24-15)

On 8-23-15, Lupe climbed Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado, second highest peak in the 48 contiguous United States, and quite possibly the highest mountain she will ever climb.  What could she possibly do for an encore the next day?  Why, climb the second highest peak in Colorado, of course!

Mount Massive (14,421 ft.) is conveniently located just 5 miles NNW of Mount Elbert (14,433 ft.).  Only 12 feet lower than Mount Elbert, Mount Massive is the third highest peak in the 48 contiguous United States.  So on 8-24-15, Day 16 of her Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation, Lupe set out from the Mount Massive trailhead near Halfmoon Creek at 9:32 AM (57°F).

It was another beautiful day.  It was also Monday.  The weekend crowds had disappeared.  SPHP had been able to park the G6 in the TH parking lot.  Only a few other vehicles were there.  Although the elevation gain would be very similar, only slightly less than she had gained climbing Mount Elbert the day before, climbing Mount Massive was going to be a more peaceful experience.

The trailhead was actually a TH on the Colorado Trail.  The Colorado Trail climbed fairly steeply at first, and then leveled out with both up and down sections.  Lupe followed the Colorado Trail for about 3 miles.  It wound its way around some, but generally towards the N.  After 3 miles on the Colorado Trail, Lupe reached the Mount Massive Trail No. 1487.  Mount Massive Trail No. 1487 heads W for about 2.5 miles to reach a ridgeline S of the summit.

Going up Mount Massive, there were similarities with Lupe’s climb up Mount Elbert the previous day.  The Colorado Trail and the first part of the Mount Massive Trail were all in the forest.  There weren’t any views until Lupe reached tree line along the Mount Massive Trail.  Once on the Mount Massive Trail, it was a steady climb all the way up the mountain.  The steepest, hardest parts of the climb were near the top.

Lupe didn’t meet many people on the trail at first, but this time it wasn’t due to a late start.  There just weren’t that many people on the mountain.  After a while, Lupe did meet some people and a few dogs who were coming down the mountain, as she climbed up, but far fewer than the day before.

Once again, the views started at tree line.  There were far more bushes above tree line than on Mount Elbert.  Lupe likes bushes.  She sought their shade whenever SPHP had to stop to rest.

Lupe near tree line along Mount Massive Trail No. 1487.
Lupe near tree line along Mount Massive Trail No. 1487.

Mt. Massive, CO 8-24-15Lupe on Mount Massive, CO 8-24-15Most of Trail No. 1487 seemed less steep than Trail No. 1184 up Mount Elbert.  It did get steep as it approached the ridgeline leading to the summit.  As Lupe approached the ridgeline, there were a couple of mountain goats up ahead.  People and a dog were on their way down, so the goats had to make a decision on which way to go.  They disappeared around the W side of the ridge.

Mount Massive was, well, massive! There was huge amount of open ground above tree line.
Mount Massive was, well, massive! There was huge amount of open ground above tree line.
The high point seen here is a false summit.
The high point seen here is a false summit.  Lupe would soon be scrambling around up on that ridge, though.
The two mountain goats shortly before they realized they had visitors.
The two mountain goats shortly before they realized they had visitors.

Mount Massive features 5 high points along a huge ridge that extends NW/SE.  All of these high points are over 14,100 feet.  From SE to NW these high points are:  (1) Mount Massive – Southeast Peak (14,132 ft.), (2) Mount Massive (14,421 ft.) (the true summit), (3) Mount Massive – Green Peak (14,280 ft.), (4) Mount Massive – Northwest Peak (14,320 ft.), and (5) Mount Massive – Far Northwest Peak (14,169 ft.).

Trail No. 1487 reaches the top of the ridgeline between Mount Massive – Southeast Peak and the true summit.  When Lupe reached the ridgeline, she followed the trail NW toward the true summit.

Looking SE towards Mount Massive - Southeast Peak. This photo shows the saddle where Trail No. 1487 gains the ridgeline from the E (left).
Looking SE towards Mount Massive – Southeast Peak. This photo shows the saddle where Trail No. 1487 gains the ridgeline from the E (left).
Looking NNW along the ridgeline up to the true summit.
Looking NNW along the ridgeline leading to the true summit.  The true summit isn’t in view yet in this photo.

The trail to the top stayed mostly along the NE side of the mountain a bit below the ridgeline until quite close to the summit.  There were some pretty huge drops to the SW on the other side of the ridge.  Some scrambling was required along the way.  Nothing serious, but this last leg up Mount Massive was certainly more challenging than the easy stroll along a ridge Mount Elbert had been.  It was pretty fun!  Lupe was happy climbing among the rocks.

Lupe having fun along the trail to the summit. A few people were on their way down as Lupe was heading up.
Lupe having fun along the trail to the summit. A few people were on their way down as Lupe was heading up.
Lupe up on the ridgeline. The summit of Mount Massive is now in view. Photo looks N.
Lupe up on the ridgeline. The summit of Mount Massive is now in view. Photo looks N.
Success! Lupe atop the true summit of Mount Massive.
Success! Lupe atop the true summit of Mount Massive.

A few people had been coming down as Lupe worked her way up, but by the time Lupe reached the ridgeline and final approach to the true summit, Lupe and SPHP were alone.  Once again the weather was wonderful.  There wasn’t even a breeze.  The views all around were gorgeous.

Looking S back along the ridgeline from the summit. Mount Elbert is in the shadow of a cloud at L Center. La Plata Peak is seen just R of Center.
Looking S back along the ridgeline from the summit. Mount Elbert is in the shadow of a cloud at L Center. La Plata Peak (14,336 ft.) is seen just R of Center.
What a view! Mt. Oklahoma is seen beyond the North Halfmoon Lakes. Photo looks WSW.
What a view! Mt. Oklahoma (13,845 ft.) rises above the North Halfmoon Lakes. Photo looks WSW.
Looking N now from the true summit at the ridge that heads NW towards Mount Massive - Green Peak. A trail is visible along the ridgeline, but Lupe didn't go that far.
Looking N now from the true summit at the ridge that heads NW towards Mount Massive – Green Peak. A trail is visible along the ridgeline, but Lupe didn’t go that far.
Mount Elbert from Mount Massive. Photo looks SSE.
Mount Elbert (Center) from Mount Massive. Photo looks SSE.
Deer Mountain (13,761 ft., Center) and Mt. Oklahoma (13,845 ft., on R). This photo shows a little better view of the steep drop down to the WSW. Both of the upper basins of North Halfmoon Creek are in view.
Deer Mountain (13,761 ft.)  (Center) and Mt. Oklahoma (13,845 ft.) (R). This photo shows a little better view of the steep drop down to the WSW. Both of the upper basins of North Halfmoon Creek are in view.
Mount Elbert (L) and La Plata Peak (Center). Photo looks S.
Mount Elbert (L) and La Plata Peak (Center). Photo looks S.
Looking NW now towards Mount Massive - Green Peak, Northwest Peak and Far Northwest Peak.
Looking NW now towards Mount Massive – Green Peak, Northwest Peak and Far Northwest Peak.  All three are lined up on the R side of this photo.
Looking NE towards Turquoise Lake and Leadville, CO.
Looking NE towards Turquoise Lake and Leadville, CO.

It is possible to make a trek known as the “Tour de Massive” by visiting all five of the high points along the huge Mount Massive ridge.  SPHP had been thinking Lupe could do the Tour de Massive.  She could have, too, but the reality up on the summit of Mount Massive was that SPHP could not.  Not after climbing up Mount Elbert the previous day.  The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.

A look at the high points (Green, Northwest and Far Northwest) off to the NW revealed that it might well involve considerably more than an easy stroll up and down along a ridgeline to get over to those peaks.  Climbing the Southeast Peak, on the other hand, was clearly pretty easy, but in the end, SPHP was content to just call it a day – another wonderful day spent with Lupe.

Lupe and SPHP lingered quite some time up on Mount Massive.  No one else appeared.  Lupe and SPHP had Mount Massive entirely to themselves.  It was a grand time.  SPHP and Lupe both enjoyed the tremendous views.  Lupe also found a snowbank to frolic on.

Delightful snow on Mt. Massive made a great American Dingo playground.
Delightful snow on Mt. Massive made a great American Dingo playground.

Lupe on Mount Massive, CO 8-24-15Going up to the summit along the ridgeline had been really fun.  Going back down was a good time, too.  Lupe scrambled quickly among the rocks.  SPHP scrambled slowly.  The route was rough enough to be interesting and engaging, without being difficult.  The views, of course, remained simply splendid.

La Plata Peak (Center). Photo looks S.
La Plata Peak (Center). Photo looks S.
Mt. Elbert (Center L) and La Plata Peak (Center R). The saddle between Mount Massive - Southeast Peak and Mount Massive is seen on the L, as well as Trail No. 1487 heading down to the E (L).
Mount Elbert (L of Center) and La Plata Peak (R of Center).
Mt. Elbert
Mount Elbert.
Looking SW.
Looking SSW.
Mount Massive - Southeast Peak (L) and Mount Elbert (R).
Mount Massive – Southeast Peak (L) and Mount Elbert (R).  The saddle between Mount Massive – Southeast Peak and Mount Massive is the low point on the ridgeline below.  Trail No. 1487 can be seen heading down the mountain to the E (L).

Once below the ridgeline, and heading E on Mount Massive Trail No. 1487, the long trek back to the G6 began in earnest.  Lupe had lots of wide open territory to explore.  She had a wonderful time.  A little later on, the light faded in the forest while Lupe followed the Colorado Trail.  Between the trees, the light of a huge bonfire could be seen to the E of the trail.

Lupe met a couple of guys intending on camping on Mount Massive up above tree line.  They were from Florida.  One of them had seen Lupe on the trail, and thought she was a wolf!  (Quite a few people have said she resembles a fox before, but never a wolf!)  They were carrying sleeping bags, but seemed to have no backpacks or other gear.  SPHP wondered if they weren’t heading for a bit of a shock.  It was conceivable that a night above tree line (around 12,000 feet) on Mount Massive, even in August, might not be much like camping out on a Florida beach.

Lupe met no one else the entire way back.  At 8:45 PM (52°F), Lupe reached the G6.  For Lupe and SPHP, it had been a fabulous day together on Mount Massive.  Fortunately for the Floridians, it looked like it was going to be a fabulous night, too.

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s 2015 Wyoming, Colorado & Utah Adventure IndexDingo Vacations Adventure Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

Mount Elbert, Colorado (8-23-15)

After climbing Flat Top Mountain (12,354 ft.) the previous day, August 22nd was a rest and repositioning day for Lupe.  SPHP drove down to Leadville, CO.  The very dusty G6 got taken to a car wash.  SPHP got cleaned up, too.  Lupe dined on roasted chicken from Safeway and an ice cream bar.  She seemed quite content to spend a significant portion of the day snoozing in the G6.

Later in the day, there was a scouting trip down to a couple of trailheads in the Halfmoon Creek area SW of Leadville.  (The gravel roads were fine, but very washboardy.  It was Saturday, and the place was simply overrun with people and vehicles.)  Lupe also visited Turquoise Lake.

Mount Massive from Turquoise Lake near Leadville, CO.
Mount Massive from Turquoise Lake near Leadville, CO.

August 23rd, Day 15 of Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation, began as a complete disappointment.  SPHP had planned for Lupe to get an early start on climbing Mount Elbert (14,433 ft.), the highest mountain in Colorado.  (Only Mt. Whitney (14,498 ft.) in California is higher in the 48 contiguous United States.)  When morning came, however, Mount Elbert was nowhere to be seen.  The sky was completely overcast.  Mount Elbert was lost in the clouds.

There was no point in Lupe climbing Mount Elbert just to see fog.  A leisurely breakfast ensued.  After a little while, though, it looked like there wasn’t as much fog as there had been.  The trend continued.  Suddenly SPHP realized the clouds were going to simply dissipate.  It wasn’t going to be foggy for long.  It was going to be a gorgeous day!

Lupe got a late start.  It was Sunday.  The weekend crowds were still here.  The Mount Elbert trailhead was absolutely totally and completely full.  Apparently SPHP had been the only one deterred by the early morning fog.  It was 10:12 AM (54°F) by the time SPHP parked the G6 at a little pullout along USFS Road No. 110 in the Halfmoon Creek area.  Lupe had to trot 0.25 mile along No. 110 just to get to the trailhead.

Mount Elbert from Road No. 110, which leads to the Halfmoon Creek area trailhead NE of Mount Elbert. Photo looks SW.
Mount Elbert from Road No. 110, which leads to the Halfmoon Creek area trailhead NE of Mount Elbert. Photo looks SW.  Although the clouds dissipated, there was still a smoky haze from distant wildfires.
Mount Massive, at 14,421 feet, is the 3rd highest mountain in the 48 contiguous United States, and only 12 feet lower than Mount Elbert. Mount Massive is 5 miles NNW of Mount Elbert.
Mount Massive (14,421 ft.) is the 3rd highest mountain in the 48 contiguous United States, and only 12 feet lower than Mount Elbert. Mount Massive is just 5 miles NNW of Mount Elbert.
Mount Elbert. SPHP managed to park the G6 closer to the TH than shown here. This was just a rare viewpoint at an opening in the forest along No. 110.
Mount Elbert from the NE. SPHP managed to park the G6 closer to the TH than shown here. This was just a rare viewpoint at an opening in the forest along No. 110.

The first part of the climb up Mount Elbert was all in the forest, so there really weren’t any views.  From the Mount Elbert TH, a short spur trail (0.50 mile?) leads up to the Colorado Trail.  Lupe followed a somewhat longer segment of the Colorado Trail S to an intersection with the Mount Elbert Trail No. 1184.

Although the topo map on Peakbagger.com doesn’t show the Mount Elbert Trail No. 1184 going all the way up to the summit, it actually does.  The trail works its way up the NE ridge and gets heavy use.  Its route is unmistakable, except when covered with snow.

Other than a portion of the Colorado Trail which was close to level, Lupe’s entire route to Mount Elbert was a steady climb.  Some parts were steeper than others, especially approaching the summit, but it was nearly all just going up.

Even though the Mount Elbert TH parking lot was full, at first there weren’t too many other people and dogs around.  Only Lupe, SPHP and a few other stragglers were starting up the mountain this late in the day.

After a couple of hours, Lupe and SPHP started meeting the early birds coming back down the mountain.  Some had started up in darkness as early as 4:00 AM.  By the time Lupe reached tree line, a flood of people and dogs were coming down the trail.  Not all had made it to the summit of Mount Elbert, but most of them had.  There were social opportunities galore for Lupe, who sniffed the many dogs, and allowed herself to be petted by some of the friendlier people.

The passing parade included lots of dogs wearing backpacks.  (American Dingoes don’t go in for that kind of drudgery, they bring human porters.)  Some wore booties on their paws.  (Carolina Dogs climb rocky mountains regularly, and aren’t a bunch of greenhorn tenderpaws.)  There were large dogs and small ones representing a great variety of breeds.

The people were almost as varied as the dogs.  Children under 10 years old had made it to the summit.  There were tall, short, thin, and fat people.  There were a few clearly in their 70’s.  There were quite a number of nationalities and languages represented.  The most unusual people, though, were three who came down the mountain riding unicycles.  SPHP greatly regrets not having the presence of mind to take a couple of pictures of the unicyclists.  The whole concept seemed suicidal, but there they were, having a great time.

In fact, everyone was having a good time.  The weather was great.  Only the ever-present smoke haze from distant wildfires dimmed the marvelous views above tree line.

Trail No. 1184 above tree line.
Trail No. 1184 above tree line.
Lupe climbing Mount Elbert. She is already well above tree line here. This photo shows the steepest part of the climb up Mt. Elbert. Once up on the ridge ahead, the rest of the way to the summit is just an easy stroll gaining the final bit of elevation gradually.
Lupe climbing Mount Elbert. She is already well above tree line here. This photo shows the steepest part of the climb up Mt. Elbert on Trail No. 1184. Once up on the ridge ahead, the rest of the way to the summit is just an easy stroll gaining the final bit of elevation gradually.  Photo looks WSW.
Lupe gains the ridgeline. The summit is now in view. The rest of the way is easy, with spectacular views all along the way.
Lupe gains the ridgeline. The summit is now in view. The rest of the way is easy, with spectacular views all along the way.

Only near the summit were there any difficulties at all climbing Mount Elbert.  Near the very end, the trail climbed pretty steeply to reach the ridgeline that was the final leg to the summit.  Many people reported being a bit scared of the loose rock and slippery hard-packed ground on the steep trail.

When Lupe and SPHP got there, it was as they said, but not anything Lupe hadn’t encountered many times before on other mountains.  It was really more of a problem going down than going up.  Taking it slowly and cautiously was all that was required.  Of course, that applied only to SPHP.  The Dingo romped around as usual, confident of her footing every inch of the way.

After gaining nearly 4,500 feet of elevation, Lupe was there – the summit of the highest mountain in Colorado, the state most famous for its high peaks.  Lupe stood surveying the world from the top of Mount Elbert.

Photo looks SSW. SPHP believes the high mountain near the center of this photo is 14,336 foot La Plata Peak.
Lupe on the summit of Mount Elbert.  SPHP believes the high mountain near the center of this photo is La Plata Peak (14,336 ft.).  Photo looks SSW.
Lupe reaches the summit of Mount Elbert. A hiker holds up a rather nice Mount Elbert sign designed like a Colorado state license plate to commemorate the occasion. The sign had the elevation and 8 and 15 on it for August, 2014. SPHP has no idea who produced and brought that sign up. Whoever did it was kind enough to leave it there for everyone's use.
A hiker holds up a rather nice Mount Elbert sign designed like a Colorado state license plate to commemorate the occasion. The sign had the elevation and numbers 8 and 15 on it for August, 2015. SPHP has no idea who produced and brought that sign up. Whoever did was kind enough to leave the sign there for everyone’s use.  No doubt it eventually made a nice souvenir for someone.
Mount Elbert - South Peak (14,134 ft.) is shown here on the left. It is an unranked peak connected to Mount Elbert by a ridge. The Black Cloud Trail No. 1480, an alternate route up Mount Elbert from the S, crosses Mount Elbert - South Peak on its way to Mount Elbert. La Plata Peak (R) is also in this photo.
Mount Elbert – South Peak (14,134 ft.) is shown here on the left. It is an unranked peak connected to Mount Elbert by a ridge. The Black Cloud Trail No. 1480, an alternate route up Mount Elbert from the S, crosses Mount Elbert – South Peak on its way to Mount Elbert. La Plata Peak (R), 6 miles away to the SSW, is also in this photo.
Mt. Cosgriff (13,588 ft.) (L) is another unranked peak. It is connected to Mount Elbert - South Peak (R) by a continuation of the same ridge from Mount Elbert. Photo looks S.
Mt. Cosgriff (13,588 ft.) (L) is another unranked peak. It is connected to Mount Elbert – South Peak (R) by a continuation of the same ridge from Mount Elbert. Photo looks S.
Mount Massive dominates the view to the NNW.
Mount Massive (14,421 ft.) dominates the view to the NNW.
Looking W.
Looking W at the upper South Fork of Halfmoon Creek basin.  SPHP believes the peaks in the foreground are Casco Peak (13,908 ft.) (L of Center), Frasco Peak (13,876 ft.) (R of Center) and French Mountain (13,940 ft.) (Far R).

Since the weather turned out to be perfect, there was a huge advantage to Lupe’s late start up Mount Elbert.  By the time she reached the summit, there were fewer than a dozen people there.  Most of those soon left.  In the end, there was only one other group on Mount Elbert.  There were two brothers and an uncle.  They were waiting for a brother-in-law, who was still struggling up the mountain on the South Mount Elbert Trail No. 1481 (which actually approaches Mount Elbert from the E).

The brother-in-law was thinking about giving up, but the rest of the family was in contact via smart phones.  They urged him onward.  He came into view below, and was eventually greeted by the family as he approached the summit.

Two brothers and an uncle greet a brother-in-law as he reaches the final ridge just short of the summit.
Two brothers and an uncle greet a brother-in-law as he reaches the NE end of the summit area.

When all four men reached the summit, Lupe joined them for a photo op.  This was the brother-in-law’s first trip up Mount Elbert, but the rest of the family had made multiple trips up the mountain.  The brother in the blue jacket and jaunty blue hat had been here six times.

Lupe with new friends on Mount Elbert. Photo looks NNW towards Mount Massive.
Lupe with new friends on Mount Elbert. Photo looks NNW towards Mount Massive.
From Left to Right: Carlos Holguin, Jose Holguin, Edgar Flores, Luis Holguin. Edgar, of course, is the brother-in-law savoring his first ascent of Mount Elbert. Luis is the Carlos and Jose's uncle. Lupe is the Carolina Dog, but you knew that already.
From Left to Right: Carlos Holguin, Jose Holguin, Edgar Flores, Luis Holguin. Edgar, of course, is the brother-in-law savoring his first ascent of Mount Elbert. Luis is Carlos and Jose’s uncle. Lupe is the Carolina Dog, but you knew that already.

Lupe and SPHP remained up on Mount Elbert for a while longer after Edgar’s arrival.  No one else came up the mountain.  It looked like Edgar was going to be the last man up this day.  SPHP was curious about a high mountain off to the SE far beyond the Twin Lakes.  No one knew its name.

No one knew the name of the high mountain to the SE far beyond Twin Lakes.
No one knew the name of the high mountain to the SE far beyond Twin Lakes.

By climbing Mount Elbert, both Lupe and SPHP set personal records for the highest mountain ever climbed.  Unless Lupe and SPHP make it out to Mount Whitney in California some day, it’s likely Mount Elbert is the highest mountain Lupe and SPHP will ever climb.

Prior to Lupe’s great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation, Lupe’s personal best was Lonesome Mountain (11,399 ft.) on 8-3-14 in Montana, which she climbed during her 2014 Dingo Vacation.  She had already set new records three more times during her 2015 Dingo Vacation: Medicine Bow Peak (12,013 ft.) on 8-10-15) in Wyoming, Mount Zirkel (12,180 ft.) on 8-17-15 in Colorado, and Flat Top Mountain (12,354 ft.) on 8-21-15 in Colorado.

SPHP hadn’t set a new record for highest mountain climbed in years.  Until this day with Lupe on Mount Elbert, Cloud Peak (13,167 ft.) in Wyoming, a peak SPHP has climbed twice, was the highest mountain SPHP ever stood on.

So seeing the world from up on Mount Elbert was kind of a big deal.  Before Lupe headed down, SPHP took a few extra photos of the view from the top of Colorado.

Mount Elbert - South Peak and the ridge leading to it from Mount Elbert.
Mount Elbert – South Peak and the ridge leading to it from Mount Elbert.
Twin Lakes from Mount Elbert. Photo looks SE.
Twin Lakes from Mount Elbert. Photo looks SE.
Mount Massive from Mount Elbert. Photo looks NNW.
Mount Massive from Mount Elbert. Photo looks NNW.
The view NW of Mt. Elbert.
The view NW of Mt. Elbert.
Lupe on Mt. Elbert. View looking NE along the summit.
Looking NE along the summit.

And then it was time to start down.  It turned out that Edgar Flores was not going to be the last one to reach the summit of Mount Elbert this beautiful day.  Lupe met several small groups of people still heading up on her way down.  Maybe they were going to enjoy sunset on Mount Elbert.  They certainly could have.  The weather was ideal.  It hadn’t even been breezy on top.

The big crowds that had been present on the trail earlier in the day were gone.  Nearly the entire trek down Mount Elbert, Lupe and SPHP were alone.

Lupe sniffs around still near the summit. The junction of Trails No. 1184 (straight ahead) and No. 1481 (heads to the right) is shown here. Lupe will go back down No. 1184, the same way she came up. No. 1184 is the N or NE route up Mount Elbert. No. 1481 is known as the South Mount Elbert Trail, even though it actually approaches the mountain from the E.
Lupe sniffs around still near the summit. The junction of Trails No. 1184 (straight ahead) and No. 1481 (heads to the right) is shown here. Lupe will go back down No. 1184, the same way she came up. No. 1184 is the N or NE route up Mount Elbert. No. 1481 is known as the South Mount Elbert Trail, even though it actually approaches the mountain from the E.
Even though the climb up Mount Elbert doesn't feature any dangerous parts, if you wanted to, you could still manage to fall off the mountain. This is a look down a steep slope to the N while still not far from the summit.
Even though the climb up Mount Elbert doesn’t feature any dangerous parts, if you wanted to, you could still manage to fall off the mountain. This look down a steep slope to the N was taken while Lupe was still close to the summit.
Mount Massive from Mount Elbert.
Mount Massive from Mount Elbert.

Mt. Massive from Mt. Elbert, CO 8-23-15It was getting pretty dark by the time Lupe reached the G6 again at 8:19 PM (50°F).  She wasn’t going to climb any mountains higher than Mount Elbert on the rest of her Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation, or maybe ever.  That doesn’t mean Lupe’s adventures are over though!  She encourages you to subscribe to The (Mostly) True Adventures of Lupe for news of more Dingo Adventures coming soon!

Lupe on her way down Mount Elbert, 8-23-15. Turquoise Lake is seen far below at left center. Leadville, CO is near the right edge.
Lupe on her way down Mount Elbert, 8-23-15. Turquoise Lake is seen far below at left center. Leadville, CO is near the right edge.  Lupe, the American Dingo will be seen on more lofty peaks in the American West very soon!

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