#HellHikeAndRaft Day 1: Goat Pass, He Devil, Shelf Lake

I’ve been dreading the writeup of these #HellHikeAndRaft posts. It means it’s really over! And I don’t want it to be over. Without getting too sentimental, this was one of the most fun trips I’ve ever been on with some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. Thanks Tara, Russ, Scott, Val, Trevor, Shannon, Jes, Annie, Wendy, Adam, Jeff, and Becky & Parker at America’s Rafting Company!

Now for the nitty gritty… Monday morning, we woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Our guide, Marshall, picked us up from the Meadows Valley Motel in New Meadows and carted us off to Windy Saddle in the Seven Devils Wilderness. We met up with Rick, our other guide, and John and the horse team and into the wilderness we went.

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We quickly began ascending up the Goat Pass trail until we hit the ridge. We were rewarded with views of the Tower of BabelĀ and MirrorĀ Lake. We paused and snapped some photos. From there, we traversed across and began our descent to our lunch destination. The trail was steep and slippery with a bit of scree skiing at certain points. Sheep Lake was the reward, and we stopped to refuel.

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Post-lunch, we hiked around Sheep Lake, marveling at its cool, clear waters until we reached the junction to head up to He Devil or head to camp. Tara, Jes, Annie, Russ, Rick, and I decided to tackle He Devil; the rest decided to mosey off to camp.

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Our adventurous group began the ascent up, but quickly realized that there was no real trail. Up and up, we went, but as we reached the ridge to reach the summit, we decided to stop. It was late in the day, clouds were rolling in. All signs pointed to safety rather than summiting, and we began our descent and headed to camp.

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Shelf Lake was our home for the night! Coming into camp was like arriving at an oasis! A kitchen was set up, a fire was burning, the lake was pristine and clear. I set up camp and started to drink wine. Little did I know, guacamole, chips, and salsa awaited, and there were fajitas to be had.

I slept very well that night.

Total mileage for the day was 4.39 miles with about 1,657′ of elevation gain. This does not include He Devil.

Stay tuned for the other five days, and don’t forget to check out everyone else’s content!