Date: September 15, 2018.
Objective: Observation Peak 9,151ft.
Stats: 14.5 miles and 3,800ft gain round trip. Strava.
Links: Idaho: A Climbing Guide. Summit Post Page.
The Wapiti Fire had just burned and closed this area a couple of weeks ago, so I was a little hesitant to head into Grandjean. I knew it was re-opened and from what I could tell, the fire did not reach the trailhead. Fortunately this was true and the trail was untouched by the fire. I was on a slight time crunch so I was quick to hit the trail without a proper warm up.
Stiff legs carried me in the first couple of miles when I decided to stop and stretch out a pesky hamstring ache. I was excited to close out unfinished business from a year ago so I just kept pushing for the summit, since I'd already seen the lower trail. I was also excited to see that the trail had seen some work and the down fall noted in my previous run was not there. On that note, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to those who had participated. It was smooth sailing, or plodding rather, past the junction with Trail Creek Lake to the trail up Observation Peak. The trail past that junction was a little faint and interesting to follow in some places.
It was a steep 1.3 miles with more than 800 feet of vert on now tired legs. I finally hit the top and took in the fantastic view while I sucked down a Stinger Waffle. There was an ammo can summit register that I almost forgot to sign. All the hard work of getting there afforded me about 10 minutes on top before I had to head down. I noted streaks of rain to the southwest. Now I had realized that the route was going to be about 2 miles longer than I had mapped. Not a huge deal but a hamstring cramp encouraged me to slow down and take it easy. Threatening clouds that were in the distance were now overhead and dropping a sprinkle or two; hard shell jacket not required.
The descent was slow but without incident and the bulk of the rain hit while driving back to the highway. I really need to come back and do more running in this area.
|Lower trail before the first creek crossing.|
|Looking across Trail Creek.|
|Summit view. Trail Creek Lake.|
|Summit view with War Bonnet.|
|Summit view. Looking far to the south.|
|Ammo can summit register.|
|Trail just below the summit.|
|Trail heading back to the junction with Trail Creek Lake.|
|Observation Peak from the trail|