Day 4

March 31, 2010

Circumambulation of Fishtail Mesa (Day 2 of 2)


Click on photos to see larger image.

Today's route stats: 

    Distance:  6.5 miles

    Elevation Gain:  1000 feet

    Elevation Loss:  1700 feet


We were up early again this morning.  The character of the Esplanade was different now, more sandstone and rock towers, less shale, and fewer gullies.  And much prettier.  There spectacular views looking down into Fishtail Canyon.  It took us about 4 hours to reach the top of the saddle.  We climbed the talus slope immediately to the right of the saddle.  I had heard of possible remnants of constructed trail, but I think what we found were only very well-established game trails.  But they helped immensely. 

Esplanade Below Fishtail Mesa. Fishtail Saddle. Esplanade and Fishtail Canyon and Mesa.

The route down the north side was longer, but not as steep.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this route over the saddle.  We reached our companions back at camp around 3 PM.

South Side of Fishtail Saddle. Looking Down Indian Hollow From Saddle. Fishtail Saddle in Distance.


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