My first 9500' peak
We started at the Beus Creek Trailhead at about 0630 and headed up the Great Western trail. We didn't come across any hikers on the way up, just us. The trail was easy to follow and well maintained. The creek crossings weren't a big deal either. It's certainly a long and somewhat straight hike with few switchbacks, but the views are well worth it. Once you come out of the valley and cross the ridge line things open up more. Lots of short scratchy bushes for your shins to fight with. It took about 4 hours total, but that was with a few breaks and a 20 minute break for lunch near the peak. We came across some snow fields, but someone had already left us some footsteps to follow. The peak is marred by the radio towers and helipad, but what can you do. On the way back down we passed a few hikers and trail workers who were doing a pretty nice job of cleaning bushes away and widening certain parts. Even came across a 3' rattler, surprisingly enough. Overall it was a 7.5 hour trip and worth every minute. I carried about 20 pounds that gradually got lighter as I gave away extra water to the other guys who came along, but didn't bring enough water!
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