Seward Range Hike
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
We got to the trailhead and we were hiking by 10 (coincidentally just when it started really raining). I was really surprised when we got there and the parking lot was nearly full. We hiked in via the horse trail (not in good shape at all) and got to the intersection with the woods road in good time. We hiked down the woods road (you don't notice the descent at night) and we were actually surprised by the intersection with the herd path (The herd path does not start where there's a really nice stone/concrete bridge over a stream). We set up camp near the start of the herd path and we were in bed by midnight (just as the rain finished)|
We woke up the next morning at around 6:30, ate breakfast, and broke camp. We were planning on meeting friends at the herd path and it turns out they were camped less than 100 yards from where we set up for the night. They were staying a second night so they had a bit of a head start on us. We broke camp and stashed packs and were on the trail by 8 AM just as a solo dayhiker caught up with us. We joined up with him and caught up with the others near where the herd path crosses the stream (if you reach a nice clearing on the stream that could be a nice campsite, you missed the crossing, right now there is a jumble of logs you can cross, or you can rock hop). We had no problem crossing after a night of rain, so i'd assume this is usually crossable.
We crossed the stream and followed the herd path to the ridge herd path. There's not much to say about the herd path, it's pretty great condition, even after a night of rain it was only mildly sloppy (and it was dry on the way down). We got to the ridge 3 hours after we left camp; hiking at a moderate pace, we never lost the trail on the way up. From the intersection we descended steeply into the Seward Donaldson col and dealt with some of the mud down there, eventually we climbed up and down the bump in between and began the steep ascent of Seward. We were at the summit of Seward by a little after 11. We enjoyed the views and a snack and then began the hike back to Donaldson. After another hour we were at the NW overlook off of Donaldson. We enjoyed lunch and the views there (some of my favorites so far) and then we hiked over to the real summit. At the summit we enjoyed the views again (Also some of my favorites).
After leaving the summit of Donnaldson we headed over to Emmons. We hit a good amount of mud but nothing impassable (we were all wearing gaiters so it wasn't a big deal). It took us longer to get to Emmons than we expected but eventually we got there. We enjoyed another break and snack on the summit of Emmons and then began the traverse home.
The herd path on the way down was great because it is a pretty gentle so we made very good time on the way down. We reached the intersection with the road and got our packs and headed out. On way out we took the hiking trail instead of the horse trail. We were back to the car by 7:30 after a long day of hiking.
I was surprised to see so many cars/people on this trip. I would say we saw well over 15 people plus our combined group of 7. All in all it was a great trip and the views were spectacular.
The only downer for me was the fact that the side of my boot completely blew out between Donaldson and Emmons. My Montrail boots were pieces of junk for the last few hundred miles, they started crapping out with less than 150 miles on them. It only took 375 miles for them to dissenegrate completely, Montrail would only stand behind their boots for just 1 year, I strongly recommend against purchasing their products. I had 2 pairs of trail runners before these boots that held up fine, but ever since they got bought out by Columbia and shipped their production overseas the quality has suffered. If anyone has recommendations for new boots (wide sizes needed) I would really appreciate it. These boots crapped out at the worst time because I have a 50+ mile backpacking trip planned for the middle of August (then again, I guess the worst time would be in the middle of that trip)
The Good and The Bad
My hiking boots died!
|An uneventful drive up 3 from 81. The drive home was the same, except I was pretty tired. It was fun to stop at McDonalds in Tupper for a disgusting amount of food before the rest of the drive home.|