Day 53 on the CDT – Lots of Alpine Scenery

Lots of alpine scenery. Surprisingly, I was chilly last night even though the temperature in my tent was only 30 degrees. I hiked 3.6 miles through lodgepole pine forest to Tennessee Pass. Nobody was around at the parking lot. After replenishing my TP supply at the outhouse, I hiked north for 3.4 miles mostly on an old railroad grade that more or less paralleled US Hwy 24. Two dilapidated kilns produced charcoal for the smelters at Leadville. When I crossed US Hwy 24, I met the first of 5 southbound Colorado Trail hikers today. I continued going north for 3 miles this time east of and paralleling US 24 to the site of Camp Hale. The 10th Mountain Division trained here during WW II. I soaked my swollen right ankle in a creek then turned east for 2 miles to Cataract Falls where I ate lunch. After refueling, I started a 2,800-foot climb to Kokomo Pass and beyond. The trail (actually an old jeep road) was excessively steep at first but got better. I met two Colorado Trail Adopters starting their work on the trail. After 3 miles, the trail broke out of the trees into the alpine for a 5-mile walk over Kokomo Pass (see photo) then through a basin then over Searle Pass. The wildflowers were peaking. Along the way, I met Rush whom I met on the Appalachian Trail in 2016. He now lives in Denver. A mile after the pass, the trail descended back into the forest. I found a fine campsite above Guller Creek in a breezy spot that kept the bugs away. 21.7 miles today.

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