Sunday, July 15, 2012

Three Pass Mega Loop - Devils Thumb Pass, Arapaho Pass, Caribou Pass

Three Pass Mega Loop - Devils Thumb Pass, Arapaho Pass, Caribou Pass

Today I ran a classic loop run in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. There are several classic loops runs in the wilderness, including the High Lonesome, the Buchanan Pass to Pawnee Pass, and some loops involving the traverse from Audubon to either Pawnee or all the way to Navajo and then down. However, today I did the loop run over Devils Thumb Pass, along the Divide, down on the Devils Thumb trail and past Jasper Lake, then back up and over the Diamond Lake Cut-Off trail and the hidden ridge, down to Diamond Lake and then the 4th of July and Arapaho Pass Trail, up to Arapaho Pass, then up some more and over to Caribou Pass, then back down to Meadow Creek Reservoir, then back along the lower High Lonesome to the Devils Thumb trailhead. The loop is a classic alpine trail run, with over 23+ miles of single track all above 10,000 feet (not a single jeep road on this run). I didn't encounter a single party until I was over near Diamond Lake, then a couple parties on the Arapaho Pass trail until again I was alone for the remainder of the run. I've done all of the other loops runs in the Wilderness, and I would have to think that this loop, along with the full loop along the Divide ridge from Navajo to Audubon are the best and most classic. The Buchanan Pass to Pawnee Pass is also classic, but travels on slightly more popular trails. All and all, an excellent way to spend some time in the high alpine. The total miles are just over 23+, with over 6,400' gain and 6,400' loss. It took me 5 hours and 42 minutes, and I was going at a very casual pace today.

 Tons of flowers along the way...
 Looking down from the small summit between Devils Thumb Pass and the actual trail. Jasper is the small lake in the distance. You have to climb up and over the ridge above Jasper.
 Looking back at Devils Thumb Pass
 The hidden basin/ridge between the Jasper/Devils Thumb basin and the 4th of July basin

 On the way to Caribou Pass looking back at Arapaho Pass. N. and S. Arapaho in the distance.
 The ridge between Navajo and Apache Peaks - a classic traverse I've done many times
 Caribou Pass in the distance, with Meadow Creek Reservoir just peaking around the corner.


  1. That is big time scenery out there - quite the rugged route and it looks as if you had an absolutely perfect day for it!

  2. BTW, 'thanks' for adding to the bucket list... ;-)

  3. It is a classic loop! I lucked out, the weather came in about 2pm yesterday - you need an early start for this one. If you ever want to hit it up, let me know, I'll run it anytime.