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Best Hikes along the Continental Divide
by Russ Schneider, editor (Falcon Guides)
© Russ Schneider, editor/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The trail description is fairly accurate. It is a rather leisurely hike with great scenic variety. The Atlantic peaks and Mt. Nystrom tightly bracket the river/creek valley and you really get a lesson in glacially formed alpine geology. There are numerous and beautiful stream crossings/views and many alpine meadows. The trail gets moderately steep the last 2 miles or so as you make the final ascent to the Sweetwater Gap. At the second to last meadow before the pass, there is a breathtaking view of Mt. Nystrom looking west. The peak towers above the meadow and the gigantic cirque architecture is really something else. I saw a cow moose at one of the creek meadows and was able to get some quick photos before she bolted. I was able to get some stream fishing in on the return but only caught some small cuttrhoat of no size. I used a fly with a slip bobber.
I began the hike at 8:30a.m., reached the pass/gap at about 12:15, and returned to the trailhead at 5:30. Total distance was about 14 miles or so. I did not encounter anyone else the entire day. This is a good trail if you like solitude.
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