March 30, 2010
Circumambulation of Fishtail Mesa (Day 1 of 2)
Click on photos to see larger image.
Today's route stats:Distance: 8.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1000 feet Elevation Loss: 300 feet
up early again and began hiking by 7 AM. We reached
the Esplanade a little after 8 AM. And from there the
going was slower. We wanted to get more than half way
around Fishtail Mesa, just to be sure that we would make it
back to camp at the end of the next day. Water was
much scarcer than I anticipated. But the high
temperature was probably in the low 60s, and except for the
wind, great hiking weather for me. This section of the
Esplanade is not what I think of when I think of Esplanade
hiking. Almost all the time we were on mounds of
Hermit Shale, not Esplanade Sandstone. However there
were notable exceptions. There were endless canyon
systems to cross, with deep gullies and lots of ups and
downs. Nothing like Esplanade hiking along the Thunder
River Trail, below Great Thumb Mesa, or on the Tuckup Trail.
It was hard, uninspiring hiking. We found enough water
along the way, but just barely. I'm sure we could have
found some by hiking way down into the side canyons, but we
didn't want to take the time.
|Esplanade Below Fishtail Mesa.||Looking N from W side of Fishtail Mesa.||Mount Sinyella (other side of Colorado).|