On August 9, 2019 three generations of my family left Glastonbury, CT on a two week hiking expedition to complete three of the highest peaks in the USA.
- Wheeler Peak – New Mexico
- Kings Peak – Utah
- Borah Peak – Idaho
- Granite Peak – Montana
Bailey Packard (18), Noah Packard (20), Rob Packard (47) and Bob Packard (77) started on Friday, August 9 from Glastonbury, CT.
Then we drove West….for a really long time. On Saturday, August 10 we stopped at the Waffle House.
Then we got back in the car…
Finally, on Sunday, August 11 we arrived in at the base of Wheeler Peak. We decided to hike it that day despite not acclimating to the altitude and not sleeping in two days.
Then we headed back across the ridge and down to the car. The evening we drove to Colorado and slept. The following morning, Monday, August 12, we drove through Colorado…
That evening we arrived at Henry’s Fork Trail Head in Utah several hours after dark. We pitched tents in the parking area, and slept for the night. In the morning, Tuesday, August 13, we woke to ice on our tents. Then we began the long hike into valley (see Bailey’s video above).
We were all carrying too much gear, and we needed some rest.
While we enjoyed the view of the valley…
Later we saw a couple of moose (Bailey got close enough for a selfie).
We slept the night just below Gun Sight Pass, and then headed up Kings Peak in the morning of Wednesday, August 14.
Another spectacular view…
Then we headed back across the ridge (very challenging and exposed).
That afternoon Bailey got lost, but we found him back at the tents several hours later just before dark. Noah was exhausted and took a nap in the middle of the Gun Sight Pass. We all slept well, and hiked back to the car in the morning of Thursday, August 15.
Then we drove to Idaho Falls, and we had all you can eat steak at Stockman’s.
We took at rest day on Friday, August 16. On Saturday it was perfect weather and we drove to Borah Peak in Idaho–just two hours Northwest from Idaho Falls. We arrived just after 6am and began hiking as the sun rose.
Now I understand why Wheeler was rated a 1+ in difficulty, Kings Peak was rated a 2+ in difficulty and Borah is 3+ in difficulty. There is a 2,000+ foot cliff on both sides of a goat path across a knife edge. There is sharp, jagged shale everywhere and no trees. Winds are fierce, and it’s not a windy day. Temperatures were in the low 40s. I decided to “chicken out” just before we got to “Chicken Out Ridge”.
The ice bridge was not expected, and dozens of weekend hikers with no experience were trying to crawl across the ice. Bailey used his knife for extra grip on the ice. Bob was almost knocked off the mountain by a falling boulder and they made it to the peak…waiting for Bailey’s pictures to be added later.
Then we all headed down the mountain.
The following day, Sunday, August 18, we drove home…our feet were too sore to attempt Granite Peak. But along the way, we stopped on Monday, August 19 at Portillo’s for
Thank you for your support, and thank you to Noah and Bailey for joining me and my dad on this hiking expedition. These are memories we’ll never forget.