Bivouac Site at Pawnee Buttes  LbNA # 44241

OwnerRocky Mtn Safari    
Placed DateOct 24 2008
LocationGreeley, CO
Found By Front Range Hiker
Last Found Nov 16 2008
Hike Distance?

Bivouac Site at Pawnee Buttes
My first trip to Pawnee Buttes was with the Cub Scouts circa 1963. Over the ensuing years, our family went there occasionally, as did our Scout Troop.

On a couple of the early Scout trips, we were treated with bad weather, particularly ferocious wind. Tents in the open had no chance, and even tents in the lee of vehicles were subject to collapse.

The ever-resourceful Scoutmaster searched the badlands immediately surrounding the butte for a camping spot that would be sheltered in bad weather. He found one, and we have used this site ever since - for quick, travel-light stop-overs (bivouacs), and as a lunch stop on day hikes.
The bivouac site is located near the mouth of the third gully east of the old road that approaches the east butte from the north.

On some of our trips, we hauled extra firewood to be used on future trips. We stashed this firewood amongst shrubbery at the bivouac site. The letterbox is under one of these pieces of firewood. (Now we take a Dura-Log and kindling)

Directions to the letterbox:
1. East butte and old road from the north

2. Enter first gully east of the old road at the gully’s western-most extent (~1/4 mile north of the butte)

3. Continue east to the third gully (~1/4 mile). As you are crossing gullies 1 and 2, tend to ESE rather than ENE.

4. Near the mouth of the third gully, where the walls are still 5-6 feet high and gully bed is a little wider and relatively flat

5. Under a piece of firewood in shrubbery on west wall of the gully

One can get a bird’s-eye view of the old road and gullies from the base of the steps on the north side of the butte or from the butte top.

A nice route for climbing the east butte from the bivouac site is:
1. Follow the bivouac gully up a ways (50-100 yards),
2. Veer SSW over a small saddle to the next gully
3. Follow this new gully (heading ~SSE/SE) to the badlands summit northeast of the butte (when you reach the top of the gully, you’ll be right at the badlands summit)
4. From the badlands summit, follow the spine to the SSW to the base of the butte
5. Follow the base of the butte around to the west to the steps on the north side of the butte