Summit County Highpoint Trip Report
Dates: July 15-18, 2006
Author: Dave Covill
We secured the services of Ken Aimone, a horse packer from Fort Bridger,
Mountain View WY. The plan was for two of the party to ride in to beyond Dollar
Lake on Saturday 7/15, then set out from there on Day 2. While the rest road or
walked to Dollar Lake, two of us, taking full advantage of the pack horses by
filling up one of the mules' saddle bags with our heavy gear, hiked the Henrys
Fork trail to near the main stream crossing bridge, then said good-bye to our
friends and bushwhacked due east towards a break in the northern rampart of
Glbert. The topo shows a "pack trail" there. There is no such thing. We saw a
vestige of a trail on the steep portion ascending the northern flank of a steep
gulley, right about where the map indicated a trail to be but otherwise saw no
trail anywhere around there. If it existed at all, it has been gone for years.
We turned southward and followed a route not mentioned in any of the on-line
We walked for several miles high above timberline up the broad,
smooth tundra plateau that forms Gilbert's north face.
We saw about 120 elk up there, around 12,400 feet,
In this view, you can make out the pack trail coming in at the far upper left
corner of the map. We left it at about 11,100 feet and turned southward and
followed the snow-filled gulley (last snow of the hike) up onto the broad plateau.
Cool ledges with water flowing over them in there. We spooked the
last of the elk from above us at around 12,400 feet, crossed the isthmus,
and curved eastward and up to Gilbert's summit. At no point did we need to take our
hands out of our pockets, although the going is quite rocky at all times above
12,400 feet. Summit register is a small soda bottle with shredded pieces of
paper, no pencil. We did not sign in.
We initially intended to descend a steep gulley directly to the camp a mile
above Dollar Lake (a mile due north of Gunsight Pass, in the last trees)
but chose not to as it had minor snow and wearily hiked down the grassy ridge
due north down to Dollar Lake, cut above it, and west to the trail, and trudged
the mile back uphill to camp. Our team mates had cracked open the wine but we
fell into bed after a quick supper, 11 hours after leaving the TH at 9:30 AM.
We had originally intended to do Gilbert on the way out, after summiting Kings,
but chose to take advantage of a wonderful high pressure system. We had on
shorts and t-shirts the entire day, until we hit the mosquitoes at Dollar Lake.
One note; the skeeters are horrendous throughout the entire upper basin.
We met a couple from TX who had a go-light style bottomless tent and no bug dope.
Suffice to say they were miserable and contemplating a night time walk out to