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[cdt-l] ID- Mack Inn Cut Off

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In a message dated 4/21/2003 11:13:21 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
doug-sue@t-one.net writes:

> I was talking with Curly this AM about our upcoming hike this summer.  The
> question is whether to follow the CDTA guide book leaving Yellowstone
> heading north and follow their route or take the Mack Innn cut off (??)
> that
> isn't mentioned at all in the CDTA guide book.  Can someone explain what
> this cut off is, can you save mileage from the CDTA route and is the
> scenery
> as good, better, or worse?

I wish I still had my guidebooks for reference, but the Macks Inn Cutoff will
save you some miles. Not only that, but it will save you a hitch if you're
planning a resupply at Macks Inn.  Prior to Macks Inn the route is a series
of forest service and eventually town roads.  After Macks Inn, heading north,
some of the cutoff is bushwack or ended up being, and cross country.  I don't
know of the scenery on the official route, but the scenery on the cutoff is
awesome once you clear the forest near Sawtell Peak (?) and along the
drainage where it hooks back up with the official route.

Jonathan's maps will show you the way, although we didn't follow the river at
first leaving Macks Inn through the "private" club property.  The CDTS route
in this first few miles (from Macks Inn) avoids the club property and is
deplicted on Jim's photocopies.  After losing the route in forest, we just
headed north, merrily bushwacking our way until we hit the forest service rd.

In the area north, or perhaps it was west, of Sawtell Peak(?), we ended up
following a well used trail, but unfortunately crossed the divide instead of
bailing off and following the drainage and kept walking til it petered out.
At that point we realized we were on the the wrong side of the divide. With
no hopes of scrambling and just crossing back over, we had to retrace our
steps to a gap.

Have fun!