DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,640 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

views

snow

hiking
3 months ago

PREPARE TO RELY HEAVILY ON GPS AS THE TRAIL ISN’T APPARENT OR VISIBLE, THE DEADFALL IS AN OBSTACLE COURSE :(

Downsides: Only about 5% of this trail (the first segment from the campground to the campground overlook) is hard packed and visible / apparent. Don’t waste time by trying to chase your GPS to find the track after the overlook, as the track is just a “suggestion”. The suggested track does make sense though and should be roughly adhered to for the most reasonable route that minimizes abrupt elevation changes. Any coincidental stumbling upon an actual, visible trail will be short-lived, as the trail will be guaranteed to disappear into oblivion again after a few minutes. **I assumed that any trails that exist beyond the overlook are just animal tracks. Still, you can’t help but get excited when you see them from time to time! The forest beyond the overlook is generally not too thick, but consists of numerous, large areas of large crisscrossed deadfall which would make it very difficult for all pets and anyone with short legs (under 10 years old). I found myself plowing straight ahead to save time and to minimize elevation changes, but my ankles got pretty cut up from the late-spring thick bushes, dead twigs, thistles, thorn bushes, etc., and it becomes an exhaustive over-under obstacle course. Take thick, high socks or wear ankle / calf protection. Bob Spirko’s website review suggests that “this deadfall can be completely avoided by using an animal trail a bit south”, however, I never found this route as thin or spare as I had hoped (6 years has elapsed since his review), and just kept pressing on anyways. The trail starts at the rear of an actual campsite so please go around and don't disrupt the campers to access this trail. The trailhead parking lot gets full on the weekends due to the number of campground visitors.

Upsides: The views at the end are worth the relatively minor frustration caused by having to spend extra time route-finding and zig-zagging around deadfall, and this trail is relatively short overall. Only the initial section is steep, but at least it’s short too. There are lots of great places to stop and admire the views if you want to only stay on the initial section above the campground. The number of cairns and cleared rest areas make it apparent that many people have gone only as far the top of the campground overview, and there is no abandoned garbage in this area, thankfully. The knob at the end is a fantastic place to have lunch, catch some rays, meditate, etc. so budget to spend some time here and explore all around. Any kids that make it this far would have a blast running around and exploring the outcropping of rocks at the summit.

Conclusion: This trail was ambiguous (1 star) and should be supplemented by a GPS unit if you’re not familiar with the area, want to save time, or lack route finding skills. However, it was relatively short, easy, and had some amazing view (5 stars) on top.