Forum Index > Trip Reports > Walking the top of Montana's CHINESE WALL | A Bob Marshall Wilderness trek
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backpacker92out
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Joined: 28 May 2016
Posts: 101 | TRs | Pics
Location: Montana
backpacker92out
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PostFri Dec 09, 2022 5:44 pm 
Hello everyone This was an awesome backpacking trip in Montana's mighty Bob Marshall wilderness. 7/15/22 - 7/23/22 The goal of the trip was to walk the top of the Chinese Wall. This was a phenomenal bug-free trip with some great friends. Every photo is just a screen grab from my video below.
7/15/22 The Gathering / Meet up / Shuttle set | Car Camping near the Benchmark TH
Heading toward the Bob
Heading toward the Bob
Watching a thunderhead skirt around us out onto the plains
Watching a thunderhead skirt around us out onto the plains
It did not skirt us, we got lit up.
It did not skirt us, we got lit up.
Post-storm sunset
Post-storm sunset
7/16/22 Benchmark TH to S. Fork Sun River Camp 8.56 Miles & 727 feet of Elev. Gain
Heading toward the Sun River
Heading toward the Sun River
Great walk on a section of the CDT above the River after crossing it.
Great walk on a section of the CDT above the River after crossing it.
Red Butte 8590'
Red Butte 8590'
Looking for a good camp by the river
Looking for a good camp by the river
Pretty cool camp found. Must be an outfitters camp in the fall. Lots of flat, good water access and deer hangs.
Pretty cool camp found. Must be an outfitters camp in the fall. Lots of flat, good water access and deer hangs.
Rocky mountain afternoon thunderstorm on time
Rocky mountain afternoon thunderstorm on time
Everyone turned in early. I went to watch the sunset.
Everyone turned in early. I went to watch the sunset.
7/17/22 Camp > W. Fork River Crossing > Basin below White River Pass 7.43 Miles & 2212 feet of Elev. Gain
There are no dry feet when hiking in the early season in horse country
There are no dry feet when hiking in the early season in horse country
Crossing the West Fork, boulders were SLICK
Crossing the West Fork, boulders were SLICK
Massive beargrass
Massive beargrass
First bear of the trip
First bear of the trip
crossed the steep ravine like it was nothing then watch us pass
crossed the steep ravine like it was nothing then watch us pass
2nd bear sighting in 1/4 mile
2nd bear sighting in 1/4 mile
Camp in the basin below White River Pass. The day before our Christmas. Tomorrow we will be up on the Wall. Had a good fire and some beers this night.
Camp in the basin below White River Pass. The day before our Christmas. Tomorrow we will be up on the Wall. Had a good fire and some beers this night.
7/18/22 Basin Below WRR Pass > Haystack Mountain summit > "Sphinx Park" 5.41 Miles & 1766 feet of Elev. Gain THE OFF TRAIL ROUTE BEGINS!
Getting up on the ridge to Haystack
Getting up on the ridge to Haystack
Toward the summit
Toward the summit
Notch around the corner of the last pic
Notch around the corner of the last pic
Haystack Summit. We are dead center of the Bob Marshall. This is wilderness.
Haystack Summit. We are dead center of the Bob Marshall. This is wilderness.
Next few days on the top of the wall would be a non-stop visual feast.
Next few days on the top of the wall would be a non-stop visual feast.
First view of the Chinese Wall
First view of the Chinese Wall
The walk of life
The walk of life
Looking toward what we would call "Sphinx Park", the "parkland" below Sphinx Mountain
Looking toward what we would call "Sphinx Park", the "parkland" below Sphinx Mountain
No rushing. Only enjoying.
No rushing. Only enjoying.
We were not welcomed here
We were not welcomed here
Taking it all in before entering Sphinx Park from the other "park"
Taking it all in before entering Sphinx Park from the other "park"
Our epic camp below Sphinx Mountain in Sphinx Park. A wall on a wall. Wall-ception
Our epic camp below Sphinx Mountain in Sphinx Park. A wall on a wall. Wall-ception
Sunset from near the real walls edge looking east toward the other half of the Bob
Sunset from near the real walls edge looking east toward the other half of the Bob
7/19/22 Sphinx Park > Cliff Mountain summit > Salt Mountain summit > Larch Hill Pass 12.09 Miles & 4075 feet of Elev. Gain
When the view at the start of the day looks like this, you know it will be a good day.
When the view at the start of the day looks like this, you know it will be a good day.
Wallception captured
Wallception captured
Almost to Cliff Mnt summit
Almost to Cliff Mnt summit
"She's a beaut' clark"
"She's a beaut' clark"
The wall with the ultra-remote Silvertip Mountain and the crowded Glacier National Park waaay in the distance
The wall with the ultra-remote Silvertip Mountain and the crowded Glacier National Park waaay in the distance
Looking back from which we came. The rest of the day was grand.
Looking back from which we came. The rest of the day was grand.
Walking the top of the wall is a deceiving amount of up and down. Worth it though.
Walking the top of the wall is a deceiving amount of up and down. Worth it though.
Looking down the Moose Creek drainage, where we will exit.
Looking down the Moose Creek drainage, where we will exit.
Only picture I got from camp after Larch Hill Pass, a screen grab from me recapping the day on my video.
Only picture I got from camp after Larch Hill Pass, a screen grab from me recapping the day on my video.
7/20/22 Larch Hill Pass > Base of the wall > Moose Creek 10.83 Miles & 931 feet of Elev. Gain
Now to walk the base of the wall!
Now to walk the base of the wall!
After leaving the wall and headed down the very wooded Moose Cr Drainage we found a good camp spot. Set up. Then promptly got lit up by a thunderstorm
After leaving the wall and headed down the very wooded Moose Cr Drainage we found a good camp spot. Set up. Then promptly got lit up by a thunderstorm
Post thunderstorm vibes
Post thunderstorm vibes
7/21/22 Moose Creek > Cross Sun River > Sun River Camp 6.57 Miles & 870 feet of Elev. Gain Saw the largest pile of bear (grizzly) sh## I've ever seen in my entire life. Almost the size of a small car tire.
My friend approves of the cold water on this 95 degree day
My friend approves of the cold water on this 95 degree day
Camp was nothing special nor too scenic. It had great river access and we just lounged in it all day / did laundry. Had a great evening talking about cryptids, murders, backpacking trips, areas we want to see and even some cool stories of "the last remaining cave hyena" sighting in the early 1900s in the Nahanni. 7/22/22 Walk along the Sun River > Sun River Camp #2 (Arsenic Creek) 6.37 Miles & 308 feet of Elev. Gain Our camp at sun river camp #2 is a popular take out spot for pack rafters, we camped there hoping to bum a beer off of them before they hiked out to the wilderness lodge. There were no packrafters or beers though.
Off trail to find a trail
Off trail to find a trail
tons of grizzly bear sign in this area
tons of grizzly bear sign in this area
Cloudy and cool meadow walk
Cloudy and cool meadow walk
The sun river
The sun river
Camp at the pack raft takeout before some crazy rapids
Camp at the pack raft takeout before some crazy rapids
7/23/22 Arsenic Creek > Gibson Reservoir > OUT 7.79 Miles & 855 feet of Elev. Gain
Hiking out
Hiking out
Gibson Reservoir
Gibson Reservoir
I was here doing a day hike in early May and this bay was all sand.
I was here doing a day hike in early May and this bay was all sand.
The car ride back to the Benchmark TH was very scenic. But the adventure wasn't over...
The car ride back to the Benchmark TH was very scenic. But the adventure wasn't over...
... our shuttle vehicle was almost out of fuel. We should have fueled up before enduring 80 miles of forest service roads. We made it back to the Benchmark and my friend started to head to town with the car running on fumes. He made it into the gas station at the emergency level low fuel warning.
... our shuttle vehicle was almost out of fuel. We should have fueled up before enduring 80 miles of forest service roads. We made it back to the Benchmark and my friend started to head to town with the car running on fumes. He made it into the gas station at the emergency level low fuel warning.
Another great trip in the books
Another great trip in the books
THE END
THE END

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reststep, Nancyann, John Mac, Bramble_Scramble, Waterman, Prosit, flatsqwerl  Anne Elk, SpookyKite89, Walkin' Fool, kite, Ski, KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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PostSat Dec 10, 2022 7:35 am 
Man, I really need to get out of Washington next year. Thanks for the inspiration! How did you come up with the trip plan to walk the top of the wall? Is this a common route?

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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backpacker92out
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Joined: 28 May 2016
Posts: 101 | TRs | Pics
Location: Montana
backpacker92out
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PostSat Dec 10, 2022 6:36 pm 
KascadeFlat wrote:
Man, I really need to get out of Washington next year. Thanks for the inspiration! How did you come up with the trip plan to walk the top of the wall? Is this a common route?
This trip was planned by one of my buddies who has wanted to do it for a while. "Walking the top of the wall" the way we did (stay up by the cliffs the whole time) is rare for the route. A majority of the few people who do walk the top kind of stay in the middle/back side after haystack mountain to avoid all the up and downs at the cost of views/staying in light timber (at that point though why even walk the wall?)

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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostMon Dec 12, 2022 8:07 pm 
Damn! up.gif

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