DISTANCE
17.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4858 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

no dogs

hiking
Thursday, January 13, 2011

I did not hike the complete loop, which is good, because a backpack over Gun Sight Pass may have required some rope. I hiked from my Dusy Basin camp, through Knapsack Pass into the Palisade Basin. From there I climbed over Gun Sight Pass, then up the valley towards Mt. Sill. Made it over halfway to the top of Mt. Sill, then the Palisade Crest clouded, and I turned back. That was a bummer, but thunderstorms came about 1 1/2 hours later. For a change, I made a good decision.
This was a hike you rarely have a chance to do, and I'm glad I did. Looking straight up at Middle Palisade from its base is breathtaking - really breathtaking. One of the surprises along the head of the Basin, was the tiny, black frogs swimming around in the nearly freezing, snowmelt ponds. I didn't know frogs lived in cold water, too. Columbine peaked out from the cracks in the rocks. Twice I came across Mountain Lion tracks. But what made this an absolutely grand hike, was the raw, eternal, and truly awesome feelings brought from hiking off the beatan path. I wish I took more pictures, but I walked about with by jaw open the whole time. Put it on your wish list, you won't be disappointed.