Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Cold Basin, Mount Fremont & Grand Park Loop

Great shoulder season loop scramble, especially on a clear day.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Heavy rain with high snow level just prior to this sunny weekend melted most snow, leaving enough to be slippery or icy in places at higher elevations.

We did a clockwise loop, bearing basically south from the first clear areas in Grand Park across frozen meadows.  After dropping about 200' towards Cold Basin, multiple elk trails were present, making travel easier.  After crossing the Cold Basin creek at about 5030', we entered an open old growth forest with minimal brush, which we took to the toe of the N ridge to the Fremont Lookout. Watch for game trails much of the way up, usually slightly west of the ridge crest.  As we neared tree line, steeper frozen ground and enough snow to make it slippery but not enough for steps made us glad we had brought ice axes and microspikes.


Leaving tree cover, pass a rock outcrop to the east and ascend to the lookout.  Panoramic views, but we couldn't enjoy it as well due to steady ~ 20 mph winds and mid 30's temps.


We descended the NW ridge, which is steeper.  Lots of talus but not too loose to create much rockfall.  Staying just N of the ridge worked well.  The closed contour at 5760' can be bypassed on a ledge to the SW, or climbed over with T3 rock.

The return trip on trail is easier on the legs, though we had to hurry due to some incidents that cost us some time, so we didn't get to savor Grand Park as much as we would have liked to on the return. 

394FE4BC-F0E2-4E7F-9454-8B3876FD5DDE.jpegWe used headlamps for the last 40' to the cars.  A large tree has just fallen on the trail between the road and Lake Eleanor.  Passing it on the left on the way in is easier.