[Cdt-l] Henry's lake route

Patrick 'Daybreak' Stanley daybreak1999 at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 28 20:29:57 CDT 2008

I hiked Henry's Lake route this summer.  As I'm doing the CDT over 4 summers, I have the luxury of time.  This section doesn't get a lot of thru hiker traffic.  That said, I really enjoyed most of the hike. I hiked it trail North to south.  I hiked through up to a foot of hail that had washed down the trail as I started away from the cutoff. Luckily, I took cover and missed the actual hail storm.  You have about a half day in forested mountains and pass a deep gorge with a raging stream in early season (early July).  Saw a bear in this area. This is followed by a day of dirt roads in high grasslands with some outcrops and great views of Henry's Lake depending on which signs you follow. The day ends with about a 4 mile highway walk crossing a lower valley to a great rushing stream and campsite at the mouth of a valley.  Crossing the valley, I saw a couple herds of antelope.  You go up this river valley and over a 10,000 foot alpine pass and to an optional peak to bag (not for the faint of heart).  I encountered a few miles of snow and an empty trail that will be gone during thru hiker season. You head down some nice trails and open meadows to a pass where you can hitch to West yellowstone or actually detour a mile to a Super 8.  Easy hitch in, reasonable hitch out.  West Yellowstone has everything except permits.  Don't even bother to ask, ultimately they call the backcountry office at Old Faithful and put you on the phone.  Just call them yourself.  FYI get a permit (over the closest phone to Yellowstone), it was free and painless.  The ranger was interested, supportive, and informative. More users = more money. From the pass south it is mostly ATV/snowmobile trail(logging road) near a ridgeline back to the south end of the cutoff.  There is some hiker only trail that is completed and easy to find leaving the pass.  Northbound however, you would miss it if you follow the signs unless and until they are changed.  The new northbound section signs are about a mile or 5 north of the old trail via an ATV trail.  This section had a nice high valley but overall was pretty boring with straight roads and logged areas. During thru hiker season, water is a real issue from W. Yellowstone south if you don't venture from the trail.  I found plenty of water but it was early July with some snow still around.  Think about fetching water like going to some of the AT Shelters or getting water way down the hill in PA.  Daybreak
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