Friday, July 29, 2016

July 20 - Wild Horse Loop and Pilot Butte

July 20 - We drove over to look for the wild mustangs roaming free at the Wild Horse Loop (now a sanctuary) at the base of Pilot Butte. At least we dressed for the day and environment. There are supposed to be a population of about 1500 head, which has roamed free in these pastures since the 1800s, brought here by explorers and then settlers. So, we were expecting to hear the sound of thundering hooves in the wide open unimproved landscape, but were silenced by the calm grazing of barely six horses at a distance of over a 1000 yards. 

Still, our drive took us to Pilot Butte where we 'dismounted' Edith and hiked almost to the very top of Pilot Butte, which elevation is 7,949 feet at its highest point. The top seems unable to be scaled by amateurs like us, as it is surrounded by a high wall of rock. You can see by the photos, we hike almost to the top of the trail (rock wall) and you can see how far down Edith was. Pilot Butte is located directly on top of White Mountain, and was named by early travelers in the region as a sign that they were close to Green River. It is the second highest point in the immediate region (the first being Aspen Mountain to the south). The drive is about a 24-mile drive through the Wild Horse Loop with Pilot Butte being more or less the midpoint.

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