Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ruby Crest Trail Harrison Pass to McCutcheon Creek August 5, 2011

A poor picture of me on the Harrison Pass road

Over the course of four days and three nights I hiked the Ruby Crest Trail (from now on RCT) from Harrison Pass to Lamoille Canyon. The trail is approximately 38 miles long with a low elevation of 7,247 feet in the North Fork drainage to a high point of 10,900 feet on Wines Peak. Overland Lake to North Furlong Creek is the highest portion of the trail with hikers staying well over 10,000 feet for the day. Major tree species of the Ruby Mountains include Aspen in the drainages and Whitebark pine in the upper elevations. Major animal species include Mule deer and Bighorn sheep.

The hike: Today my objectives included hiking into McCutcheon Creek which is about 7 miles from the road. I left my wife at 9:00 am still feeling the effects of a stomach ache from the morning (I barely ate any breakfast). The first five miles of the hike involved walking on a dirt road and two track. Green Mountain is the trailhead for the RCT on Forest Service road 107A however, it is down a rough dirt road. The sun was already high in the sky making for a hot morning. After leaving the car, I felt better and hiked pretty fast. I do not like hiking on roads and wanted to get into the wilderness. Passed Green Mountain I met a nice individual on an ATV who confirmed my route and who voluntarily filled up my water bottle. McCutcheon Creek was only 2 miles from the wilderness boundary and I arrived after 1 pm. While eating lunch I debated about moving on but decided against it. I read until 4:00 pm at which time I pitched my tent in a grove of Aspen away from a group with the Great Basin Institute. For dinner that night I ate dehydrated Pasta Primavera.

Cool pic of tree at sunset; around 8 pm.

Looking west at sunset.

Trail signs at McCutcheon Creek

Southern Ruby Mountains scenery

Paintbrush off the trail

Looking south towards Harrison Pass

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