A tentative booking of Tombstone campground earlier in the year turned into a crew of seven families heading out to the campground, one way or another. In hindsight it might not have been the best option for a big family trip – the idea had been that it’s ideally placed for quick access from the Elbow Lake side, but in reality that side isn’t great for bikepacking, and access from the other side means a longer day for small kids. Oh well! Everyone needs an epic every now and again.
A few of us started from the Little Elbow campground trailhead (whatever the proper name of that trailhead is… the one at the end of the 66!)
Not sure who this cool dude is. Too cool for the likes of me, that’s for sure.
We were riding in via the Little Elbow trail, which means we got to check out the fancy new bridge a few kilometres in. And I could nap on it – my energy levels were still not super high.
After the bridge comes the turn-off to Romulus Campground, and then – the big big hill. Well, really the trail just keeps climbing until you hit the pass, but that first steep hill often feels like the worst of it.
There was a fair bit of bike pushing, but then it got a little more rideable again. If you’re sneaky, you can convince your partner to tow a Chariot with a whole lot of food in it, while you tow your son. Bikepacking in style!
Then we were over the pass and away! Nothing but downhill to go!
And down into the campsite where we scored some camping spots overlooking the valley. And got to nap some more.
We met Doug there, and the other families started turning up, arriving from various directions and by various modes of travel.
We scored a pretty sweet spot for the tent – and yes, had left the fly at home to save weight.
Zion even learnt how to make fire! Although me, I spent most of the evening napping, and then went to bed as early as I could get away with.