The Descent
Backpacking the Rawah Wilderness

Day 2

Day 2 started with a rumble, when two moose came running through our campsite just after the sun came up. From inside the tent, we watched the furry brown blurs pass within about 10 feet of our single tent window. Scrambling to get dressed, I managed to exit the tent and snap a few photos of the moose, a mom and nearly full grown calf, crossing Camp Lake.

After breaking camp, we headed towards Grassy Pass on the Sandbar Lakes Trail, stopping for pictures at several lakes along the way. Today was by far the most scenic and we barely noticed the 750 foot elevation gain to Grassy Pass. Near Rawah Lake #3, we saw another moose grazing near the lake. Atop Grassy Pass, elevation 11,250 feet, we stopped for lunch, enjoyed the views, and listened to Trevor boast how he was going to climb Sheep Mountain (elevation 11,787 feet), even though he nearly collapsed the day before.

After lunch, we descended Grassy Pass and hiked just beyond the West Branch Trail junction before making camp. Along the way, with Niran leading, we managed to startle a young bull moose that bolted across the trail less than 20 feet in front of us. Stunned, we watched the moose dart further into the trees before stopping and turning to watch us. A little further down the trail, we saw his mate also watching us from a distance.

 
Morning at Camp Lake
Morning at Camp Lake
Moose Crossing Camp Lake
Moose Crossing Camp Lake
Unnamed Lake
Unnamed Lake
 
More Unnamed Lake
More Unnamed Lake
Lower Sandbar Lake
Lower Sandbar Lake
Nearing Treeline
Nearing Treeline
 
Ascent to Grassy Pass
Ascent to Grassy Pass
Rawah Lake #2 is in the background.
Rawah Trail Junction
Rawah Trail Junction
Moose at Rawah Lake #3
Moose at Rawah Lake #3
 
Close-up
Close-up
Rawah Lake #3
Rawah Lake #3
Niran above Rawah Lake #3
Niran above Rawah Lake #3
 
Self Photo above Rawah Lake #3
Self Photo above Rawah Lake #3
Lunch Atop Grassy Pass
Lunch Atop Grassy Pass
Pond Near Grassy Pass
Pond Near Grassy Pass
 
Departing Grassy Pass
Departing Grassy Pass
Sheep Mountain
Sheep Mountain
Coming to his senses, Trevor decides not to climb it.
"Look ma, an ice patch!"
"Look ma, an ice patch!"
 
Rawah Trail
Rawah Trail
Bench Lake
Bench Lake