Ascent of Granite Butte on 2013-07-20

Climber: Caleb Morris

Date:Saturday, July 20, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Granite Butte
    Elevation:8679 ft / 2645 m

Ascent Trip Report

Decided to ascend via the sand pass trail, which I discovered once at the trailhead is in a state of serious neglect. First of all, there are two condemned roads leaving the trailhead parking lot, neither is marked. I explored both before correctly deciding the one on the right was the one I wanted. You follow this old road until the actual trail discretely leaves the abandoned roadbed about a mile from the trailhead. I missed this turn and ended up wondering off up into Catherine Creek on a game trail. Eventually I realized my mistake after consulting my map and GPS, which I probably should have done about 15 minutes earlier. Anyway, once I found the lightly marked and traveled trail it was a hot hike up onto Mule Peak and across to Granite Butte.

I jumped up a sleeping black bear. Judging by his slow response time and the drunken way he stumbled through the brush he must have been deep asleep. Also ran across a herd of 40-50 elk. Both I would say are good signs this area doesn't see much human incursion. Anyway, a nice hike, but the trail comes and goes, so bring a good map!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4100 ft / 1249 m
    Total Elevation Loss:300 ft / 91 m
    Round-Trip Distance:14 mi / 22.5 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4100 ft / 1249 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3800 ft / 1158 m; Extra: 300 ft / 91m
    Loss on way in:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:Sand Pass Trail
    Start Trailhead:4879 ft / 1487 m
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Time:3 Hours 

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