Sunday, June 19, 2011
Bear Jaw / Abineau Loop - Trail Run
Bear Jaw - Abineau Loop
Kachina Peaks Wilderness
Mileage - 12.45
Time - 2:19
AEG - 2615ft
Sunday morning Mark and I woke up, made breakfast, and broke down camp by 6:45am. We hit the road (FR 418) and headed around the mountain for approximately 10 miles in order to reach the Abineau-Bear Jaw trailhead. This was new ground for both of us, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore the area North of Mt Humphreys. I wanted to run, and Mark planned on hiking, so we set out in opposite directions on this loop trail. I ran (or should I say, fast-hiked) the Bear Jaw trail first, while Mark went up Abineau.
This area of the Kachina Peaks Wilderness is incredibly pristine and teeming with life. The gusting winds made the forest come alive, leaving my senses heightened with all the extra noise and activity along the trail. The occasional mule deer would cross my path, startling me temporarily, I tried to make as little commotion as possible and leave them undisturbed. With a heavy presence of deer, elk, bear, and mountain lions, running solo in "big game" territory is quite a thrill. Mark and I crossed paths after an hour, he snapped a quick photo, and then I rushed off the mountain in hopes of thawing out my extremities.
Knowing Mark would take a little longer to complete the loop, I decided to run a few extra miles on FR 418. I'm so glad I did, it was pure bliss. As you can see from the picture below, the scenery was breathtaking. Tall pines, aspens, green meadows, and a mountain range partially covered in snow provided views I could have enjoyed the for another dozen miles or more.