[Cdt-l] Goldstone reroute

Jonathan Ley jonathan at phlumf.com
Wed Mar 2 21:44:58 CST 2011

A 2010 hiker reported heading across the ridge to the south of Cowbone 
Lake /Darkhorse Creek. There's an old? road there, and he reported it to 
be in good shape. This goes by Goldstone Lake, and connects Goldstone 
Pass with Skinner Lake. This would bypass the whole area around Cowbone 
Lake, including that big winding loop. anyway, I added it as an 
alternate in 2011.

However, to me, the bigger issue is that the trail comes down off the 
divide between Cowbone Lake to Rock Island Lakes. Looking southbound, I 
think a really cool route would head south to Miner Lake... but there's 
really no way through south of there without some serious trail building 
or lots of up/down, or cross-country over steep terrain. If a trail 
could be built to just south of Center Mountain... or even to Timberline 
Lake... from there, it looks like the easiest routing would mostly be on 
the Idaho side of the divide. If the CDT could be routed through there 
somehow, the terrain looks fantastic, I'm sure it'd be another highlight 
of the trail.


On 3/2/2011 6:41 AM, Eric Whte wrote:
> I did Jonathan's #3 NoBo this summer and got 'lost' descending to 
> Cowbone Lake because the rudimentary trail pooped out; I bushwacked 
> along #3 bypassing the Lake which required care because of steep 
> cliffs and blowdowns. I agree something needs to be done. Since the 
> actual distance of 'no trail' is short - less than two miles, it could 
> be fixed up relatively quickly by ??Americorps or others. Mini Mart
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Jonathan Ley <jonathan at phlumf.com>
> *To:* cdt-l at backcountry.net
> *Sent:* Wed, March 2, 2011 2:55:02 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [Cdt-l] Goldstone reroute
> Good question :-)... Anyone can look at a map and guess at a decent 
> route just based on the terrain. The map doesn't tell you the quality 
> of the "rock underfoot" though - some places that look easy might be a 
> giant loose talus field. In the end, someone has to get out there and 
> see what makes sense... and there are lots of other considerations as 
> well... other users of the areas, old mining claims, ranching 
> boundaries, environmental impact concerns, etc. The route that makes 
> the "best sense for hikers" might not make the best sense for everyone.
> When I look at the maps of this area (north of Goldstone pass), a 
> route traversing the ridges on the Idaho side of the border would seem 
> to make the most sense, but I don't know what logistical/bureaucratic 
> challenges there might be to establishing such a route. The terrain on 
> the Montana side sure looks more interesting - lots of lakes and 
> cliffs, but it might just be hard to build & maintain a trail through 
> there.
> Anyway, I'm glad to hear there is consideration being paid to 
> improving this part of the CDT. I'll have to put in my 2 cents 
> "officially"... :-)
> -Jonathan
> On 3/1/2011 8:04 PM, Matthew Edwards wrote:
>> How funny Toc.. I took alternate #3. It was actually quite easy.
>> Of course for North bounders like me it was downhill.
>> Anyhow on J. Ley MT53  it looks like the route Mr. Jim Wolf is 
>> proposing is marked as alternate #5.
>> I wonder when the CDTA, Jim Wolf, and Jonathan Ley are going to 
>> finally sit down together and exchange notes.
>> -Iceaxe
>>    _______________________________________________  Cdt-l mailing listCdt-l at backcountry.net   http://mailman.backcountry.net/mailman/listinfo/cdt-l
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