Continental Divide Trail (CDT)

21    Helena - Benchmark Ranch      198 kilometers


Benchmark Ranch                         198 km

After getting a ride by Beaker's wife we started this section at Mac Donald Pass climbing to the communication towers. For the first two days we were joined by Bigfoot again. Early on we took Ley's alternative in the valley as it is shorter and has plenty of water; cows or no cows. From there on we were mostly on the ridge. A Forest Service crew was out here to clear the trail of blow downs. And then the thunderstorms came rolling in. In between the sun came out. We had some great views. The views are paid for with many steep climbs. And then there were frequent MUDS and PUDS without any views. All water sources as per Ley's maps were running. On the way down to Rogers Pass I encountered a group of four Southbounders. Another big hallo and information exchange. We decided to head into Lincoln as Beaker needed additional batteries. At Rogers Pass we were lucky and soon got a ride into town. The road into Lincoln has serious big roadwork going on.

Next morning I headed out after a good town breakfast. Beaker staid behind wanting another day of rest so I was on my own again. I got an early ride back to the pass and started climbing up to the ridge. Up on top of the ridge the wind became a storm. I had great views while the wind kept getting stronger. I had a scary night in a burn area with the tree trunks swaying strongly but could not find anything better. Next day downhill I had to be really careful not to be blow down a cliff. The day after I met another Southbounder. The trail to Benchmark Ranch had a good tread and I could hike fast and easily.

CDT with cairn north of Rogers Pass

Huts along the CDT at Cadotte Pass

Welcome Creek adjacent to CDT

View of Dearborn Valley

Entrance sign of Benchmark Wilderness Ranch

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© 2016 by Hamburger

Last updated on 15.11.2017