Day 54 on the Continental Divide Trail

Morning and afternoon climbs with alpine scenery. After an uneventful night, I got going at 6 am for the 5-mile walk to Copper Mountain. The forest along Guller Creek was quiet as I walked. Copper Mountain is a huge ski area, requiring an to walk across half of it. At the main buildings, I ate a second breakfast of a loaded burrito and coffee. Feeling full, I walked east through the development to CO Hwy 91 and crossed over Interstate 70. The Gore Range trail started a few yards from the roaring semis on I-70. I’ve driven along the part of I-70 many times but never wondered about the mountains to the north. I headed uphill on a good trail for a 2,200-ft climb to Uvena Pass. Along the way, I met CDT hikers Bear Sweats and Tough Broad. I’ve seen few CDTers over the past few days. I enjoyed great alpine scenery near the pass (see photo). Then downhill for 5-miles to Ten Mile Creek. Then uphill once more for a 2,000-ft climb to Eccles Pass and more excellent alpine scenery. After descending a mile, the trail entered the forest for an often rocky and deadfall-ridden walk. I had to watch nearly every step to avoid falling on my face plus my feet hurt. After 4 miles with no decent camp sites, I turned east on the Mesa-Cortana trail and quickly found a camp site at 7 pm in a lodgepole pine forest. A long and often scenic day. 23.0 miles.

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