Day 13 – Rabbit Ears Pass to Arapaho Nat. Forest

Overland Camping Roadtrip Blog

Travel Day 13:

Total km driven to date: 3522km

Total km walked to date: 103.18km

Rabbit Ears Pass, CO – Arapaho Nat. Forest

190km drive

12.43km on foot

                The morning started off gray and chilly, only 9* at 8am, rained hard most of the night and some intermittent thunder. Got on the road and headed down US40 towards Kremmling. Back into rolling hills with snowcapped peaks in the distance. Turned onto hwy 9 at Kremmling with the intention of heading towards Breckenridge. Get to the ski town of Silverthorne and hit up the Wi-Fi to upload all of my W.E.Rock photos that everyone is begging me for. While on the internet I decide against heading to Breckenridge and figure I will head down I-70 towards Denver (about an hour away) and find a place to stop in Arapaho Nat. Forest on the way. I-70 climbs steeply out of Silverthorne and we hit 11,185ft above sea level right before we enter the long Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel cutting right through the  mountain. On the far side of the tunnel I see a pull off for a hiking trail at Herman Gulch and since we haven’t had much exercise today but the weather is finally starting to get nice we pull off and go on a long 12km hike up to Herman Lake at 12,400ft.



The trail starts off in the forest but soon enough follows the continental divide into some meadows full of wildflowers and patches of snow. As you can see from the pictures it has been too long since Axel got to play in the snow and he couldn’t help himself from rolling around and pushing his face right into it, for a 7yr old dog he still has a lot of puppy left in him! The trail got more rough the higher we got and eventually I found myself thigh deep in melting snow (in shorts and runners) getting soaked and frustrated. The trail started to lose its way due to all the snow, with tracks heading everywhere as people were clearly looking for an easier route. At this point we called it and turned back around since we had already done 6km uphill meaning we were in for a 12km hike. Back down to the truck and back on the interstate we started looking for a place to camp. We are right in the heart of the Rockies now with huge cliffs on either side looming over us which makes for great scenery but not too many options for camping since its so steep on either side of the road. We make a turn back up hwy 40 since we were getting close to Denver and know the odds of finding a camp spot would be slim there. Within a few miles up hwy 40 we find a great little road that winds down to the side of a rushing river and set up camp. I have a cold shower (damn clouds are not warming my solar shower)….first one in 5 days due to W.E.Rock, to clean all the dust off. Within 5min of finishing the shower it start hailing and pouring rain again, looks like we are in for another night of rain and thunder. Agate, CO (my next race) is only about 80miles from here now so we might just head there tomorrow and help set up for the event on Saturday. That said we might get sidetracked on the way and spend another night and another adventure before going to the race course. 

Leave a Reply