Philmont training hike #2: Lone Elk Park

In the summer of 2022, my sons scouting troop is taking 3 crews to Philmont for a 12 day backpacking adventure. Today, we set out for our first long hike in preparation for the long miles that lay ahead. The goal was 10 miles. However, flooded trails cut us back to 7.5 miles. To compensate, we spent the last mile walking up a pretty steep hill before calling it quits at the parking lot.

We mapped our trek with Gaia maps:

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Stepping on the trail in a light drizzle:

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We started on the White Bison Trail:

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As we switched from White Bison to the Chubb trail, a few elk eyed us as we passed by. This was a bit too close for me, but there was no other way around them:

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Switching to the Chubb trail:

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The Chubb trail, took us to the Castlewood Loop Trail:

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A train passed along the trail:

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Deep water prevented us from continuing along the CWLT. We almost tried to cross this “puddle”. Luckily we didn’t, it was approximately 4' deep and the first step is a doozy:

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The trails were flood in every direction:

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As we made our way back to the parking lot, another herd of elk attempted to block our path. This time we were able to move well out of their way:

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On the drive out, and “safely” inside the car, we passed a bison. Still a bit close for comfort, but he was standing along the only road out of the park. We kept moving as the picture was taken:

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