So I attacked the dreaded West Elk. I think I started faltering on marking trail visibility near the end, but I started off well on Coal Mesa. I marked the camp good camps. I didn’t mark the spring I found to camp that first night… Maybe I have to go back. I made sure the trail was really clear around the peak, which has some problems. Stay low, whatever you do! It doesn’t look like much, but it goes very directly for the last 40 feet.

I didn’t add any of the trails I didn’t see anything at all of, and there’s a bunch. I did make sure everything off the side of North Baldy was marked. I managed to connect it to the trail even. Put down some cairns. It looks like it probably connects to Beaver Creek far down rather than going around the top of the bowl that Beaver Creek occupies.

All that informal stuff around West Elk Peak is now marked as such and has difficulty and visibility. There’s some trail visible down low on the evil T4 track going north from the peak, so I decided not to give it visibility=no.

Added some more camps I’d noted along the way. It’s good info, it is. I couldn’t note the no camping. There’s quite a few lakes that have no camping allowed within a quarter mile, so it is something that is needed. Google was uniquely unhelpful deciding I was on about subjects that have nothing to do with camping.

I marked some of the trail I found as I left Sheep Lake (and the nice camp along it!). I adjusted the junctions into something sensible that at least resembles what’s on the ground. I marked the south route down as visibility=no and added a note that I didn’t see any evidence it was ever there. I did find a track on the other side of the lake that wound around to the trail which included one blaze and a cut log. Nothing at all for the larger trail.

Then I marked Soap Creek from the junction with Soap Basin a bit closer to actual. Maybe it’ll be easier to find the ford and trail now. It’s easy enough to follow a few hundred feet after the junction except for one sudden right corner that it looks is missed both ways very often. Got some naming sorted on one side trail. Did little with the road except add the information board at the trailhead. Oops, forgot to add the trailhead.

I did do one major thing with the road. I marked Commissary in the right place. USGS and USFS maps both have it in the wrong spot. I also noted that the road changes there. I would drive my Scion up to Commissary. I would not, under any circumstances, continue from there. There’s parking there. It’s actually right at the benchmark that the road changes.

Location: Gunnison County, Colorado, United States

Login to leave a comment