2020-12-31 | Mesa Butte, back door loop | 1703 max | 1400 TH | 10km | 477 TA | w/ Shannon
What was going to be an easier day of just Mesa Butte, we ended up deciding to make a lollypop loop of Mesa Back Door – the one trail I this area I haven’t done yet. Starting at Mesa Butte Rec Area (horse paddocks & shelter) took Curly Connector to Mesa Grind to the summit. Someone had stacked nice firewood there with kindling – perhaps for a New Years Eve party? We then decided to explore the loop of Mesa Back Door which was lightly broken luckily because it only has a handful of markers the whole way. Part way along in the valley we came across a nice track about 24-30” wide with corduroy grooving and fat bike tracks. It made for pretty easy snowshoeing. When that abruptly ended in a button hook we rejoined Backdoor and stopped for lunch. While there the local leaseholder/rancher stopped to chat with his snowdog trail machine. It wasn’t him that set the previous track but it was likely a similar machine. He is trying to trap some problem wolves in the area (we had met previously in October when he was chasing cows). Onwards we saw wolf and cat tracks in snow. Mesa Traverse took us back across to the base of Mesa Butte. Some people had postholed it quite badly though which is disappointing. We’ve run into a lot of that this break – good that people are getting out – but it makes some trails almost unusable except for a suffer-fest. Back home for a pizza feed from a new local place. Happy New Year!
© Clayton Ditzler