backpacking
1 day ago

Be advised the trailhead has been moved 1.1 miles south from the location marked on All Trails. The old roadbed up to the old trail head has a pretty good grade, but is smooth and covered in small gravel. Really easy to hike! All my distances are from the new parking lot. I didn't hike all the way up to the loop, but I did upload a track from the new trail head for reference.

Rating this trail as moderate is generous. It is largely smooth and flat, with a couple of rocky patches. Easy grade with exception of miles 0.0 to 1.1, and 3 - 3.75. The latter is fairly steep, BUT switchbacks have been added at the top making the last 0.25 mile or so a gentle grade. The switchbacks are also not shown on the All Trails route, but are on my track. Once on top you again face easy grades and smooth trail.

You will follow a creek between mile 1.1 and 2.75 providing easy access to water, and a surprisingly lush gulch. A surprise given how dry the overall area is! The trail meanders through a few aspen groves, overlooks a beaver pond, and winds it's way through open pine forest. Good camping spots up around 2.5 miles. You will depart water at about 2.75 miles when you start your way up to the plateau.

Once you reach the plateau you are greeted by low bushes and grassland, with pine forest along the shallow valley walls. You will encounter reliable water at about mile 4 and again follow a stream and beaver ponds to the north. The upper plateau is relatively flat and loaded with good camping spots.

Really enjoyed this trail. It was a nice easy overnighter and hooks up with a loop on the north end. You could easily make a 2-3 day there and back trip with the loop added in.