20 miles of hiking • 4000' elevation gain • 1 night
Eleven years ago, I did Mt Curtis Gilbert as a dayhike from Conrad Meadows,with a bike assist.I remember looking down at the Conrad Basin and wanting to return. Finally got back and finished my vacation with a dreamy stroll through spectacular alpine terrain.
Started at Conrad Meadows where there were many horsecampers and hikers parked, and biked up the 1000 road to where it intersects the S Fork Tieton Trail. Stashed bike in the woods at the wilderness border. I went just a short distance, and picked up the abandoned 1131 trail which heads up along the northern side of Conrad Creek. The trail has seen some maintenance-especially in the first few miles,and it traverses some huge meadows, but is mostly through forest. There is plenty of blowdown, but you can see the tread, the old cut logs and blazes for most of the route. I lost the trail several times but found it again, it led all the way up to the alpine area just below the Devil's Horns.
I went over the Tieton Ridge at a pass just west of Devil's Horn, and took a well worn trail( maintained by goats) over to the Devil's Wasbasin where I had a refreshing swim-water was just perfect! I then returned back below the saddle and headed westerly to a nice platueau below Tieton and made camp. Enjoyed amazingly long sunset.
Next day, I crossed back over another saddle and traversed below Tieton all the way up to the Conrad Glacier and Lake-spectacular!!! It was here I saw the first humans, and high up on the glacier, a band of 38 goats trying to keep cool. Long ambulation out and over towards Warm Lake, which I skipped when I saw multiple tents dotting the landscape as I approached.