Collegiate Loop Day 12 – Hunt Lake to Monarch Crest

Our last day of the loop. The weather was kind, but an unexpected detour briefly dampened spirits. We were not going to let is get us down:

Up at 5. There had been beautiful stars and moon earlier. Tent was very wet but we packed everything up with a new energy knowing today was the last day on the trail. It was an uphill hike from the beginning and the views of the valley and the lake and the surrounding mountains opened up beautifully with some low cloud in a valley in the distance. A couple with a dog seemed to appear from no where and overtook us. P loved the dog booties. We reached the cairn which indicated the continental divide which was exciting and we could follow the trail more or less on the ridge for a few miles. The path turned to road and we passed some of the ski runs. Unfortunately we came to a barrier across the path saying no hikers due to forestry work and a detour that added 1.5 miles and 500 ft. Reluctantly we headed down the detour which went down the mountain and came back up on the old Monarch Pass road. After a short time on the road we had a snack break after which P was energized to help S get to monarch before noon. We marched all the way up the road and then moved onto the trail at the top where we could see the forestry operations. P continued to walk fast even with multiple rocks in his shoes. It was exciting when the monarch crest store was in site and we touched the car together before 11:30 to symbolize our completion of the loop. Paul arrived about 15 minutes later and we took the ceremonial photos by the Monarch Pass and Monarch trailhead signs followed by freshening up and buying some food and drink. We chatted for a while for some British women including one from Manchester who talked about having a picnic at Shap during air trials to watch the plains in the mountains. We dropped off Paul said our goodbyes and got to our hotel.

GPS Hiking stats:
9.9 miles, 3 hours 56 minutes
Ascent 2358 ft., Descent 2486 ft.

A clear morning started our final day.
On the way up to the continental divide from Hunt Lake, we passed this mountain lake with intriguing reflections.
That was Hunt Lake below us, and we camped on the far side.
A final panorama.
Love those booties!
Atlantic this way, Pacific that way!
Evidence of prehistoric hunting on these slopes.
Hiking past the top of Outback and Shagnasty ski runs.
Noooooooooooo! So close to the end and our first, and only, detour.
The detour took us along the old Monarch Pass road.
We go to see the Old Monarch Pass as well.
The end is in sight! Our first view of Monarch Crest.
Paul marches triumphantly across the car park.
The completion photo, carrying a few less pounds than 12 days previously!
Finished!

This page is linked to from my Collegiate Loop home page.

Published by Peter Ireland

I am originally from England, and my wife is from Louisiana. When we started Geocaching in 2002, we needed a name, and the Cajunlimeys were created, and that is the name I use for my blog. Even though Janet has no Cajun blood, her cooking is excellent! We live in Houston, Texas, with Bailey and Samuel. We love adventures and wanted to be able to share the experiences with others. When planning trips, I have found other people’s sites very useful, so I want to give back and add a different perspective.

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