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Maroon Bells Wilderness - Day 4

When we woke up, the weather was nice and it was time to climb our first pass. We first needed to descend a bit further into the valley before climbing about 750 meters of elevation gain. The summit of the pass would be more than 3800 meters above sea level. It was nice to warm up while walking downhill.

Hiking trails in maroon bells wilderness
hiking in maroon bells wilderness

Soon it was time to go uphill. This was the steepest of all the mountains we would climb and our backpacks were still heavy with all our food. The first few kilometers were tough, but we still had a good amount of energy. Every 30 minutes or so we would see other people. Most of them were going faster than us, but also carried much less gear. Out of all the people we saw during our week long trip, I don't think there was anyone doing a hike as long as ours and most were only going for 1 or 2 days.

mountain views maroon bells wilderness
buckspin pass

After a few hours, we got above the treeline. The views were amazing and we saw a deer higher up the mountain. We were also getting really tired and out of breath. Back home I had been running 6 days a week for months, so I wasn't in bad shape. However, I still had a hard time walking at a decent pace for more than a few minutes at a time. It felt like climbing stairs while carrying a heavy backpack and breathing through a few straws.

top of buckskin pass
peak of buckskin pass

We took a lot of breaks but eventually made it to the summit, which had great views.

view from buckskin pass
view from buckskin pass
view from the top of buckskin pass

After a very long descent, we arrived at yet another lake. This one was only a few kilometers from a parking lot but we still only saw a few people. We found a secluded camping site hidden away in the forest. While we were pitching our tent, we noticed a deer. At first I thought it was cool to see it from up close, but then we realized it wasn't scared of humans at all. At one point I wasn't paying attention and nearly bumped into it. We dubbed it the Disney Deer, as it didn't seem real. Later, a guy living in the area explained to us that deer hang around campsites because they like to lick the humans' pee off branches for its high salt content. 

deer in maroon bells wilderness