Gant Ridge Trail/BigHorn Crags-Trail Review
Last fall I had the opportunity to hike through the Bighorn Crags and then down the Gant Ridge Trail. Initially we had planned to hike more through the Bighorn Crags, however, some forest fires made us take a left at the Gant Ridge Trail instead of continuing on through the BigHorn Crags. I will definitely be going back to spend more time in the Crags as this was one of my favorite places I've ever visited. There was such stunning beauty and it is so far off the beaten path that you really feel like you are isolated almost on an alien world. Maybe in part because of the fires in the area, we only saw a handful of other people, and all of those were within 1 or 2 miles of the trailhead on our 30+ mile hike.
Most of our first day was spent in the actual BigHorn Crags and as you can see from the picutres, the views were stunning. One of my favorites was Cathedral Rock, both as it overlooked Cathedral Lake and also as it overlooked a stunning light green meadow. We stopped a top a hill that gave us a great view of FishFin ridge and Mount McGuire (the highest peak in the Crags) and caught some of the most amazing and humbling sunset pictures I've ever witnessed. After the sun went down, we could see the flames from the forest fires.
When we woke up in the morning, the world was filled with thick smoke, as we left the Crags and followed the Gant Ridge Trail through the Salmon National Forest, it felt like we were thousands of miles away. Much of the forest had been burned out years before, leaving behind a dead forest of gray trees standing like sentinels along the path, add in the thick smoke and it seemed more like we were in an apocolytic movie set than in a real place in the world.