May 19, 2008

Lake Mountain from Paradise Park Road

Last Sunday, we rode to Lake Mountain from the Paradise Park road, which travels north from LaPoint. Just after entering Forest Service land, we turned to the right to an area that has corrals and serves as a riding trailhead, with plenty of room for parking trailers. We went through a gate near the corrals, traveled up a steep, aspen-shaded trail that traveled along a small creek much of the way. Daisy and the horses had plenty of water. We even encountered a trough full of water. As we neared the top of Lake Mountain, we saw a herd of maybe 30 elk. They were only a few hundred feet away when they saw us and began running downhill. Daisy went off chasing one of them.
We rode over to Gull Lake, where Daisy took a swim and we stopped for some peanut butter crackers. (Boss, Mischief, and Daisy each got a taste.) Instead of returning the same way, we made a loop hike by traveling along Middle Mountain before starting downhill and back to the trailer. We didn’t see the elk again, but we did scare up a couple of deer.
The entire ride was about 6 miles and 1200 feet vertical. Not as long as our usual, but a welcome respite after the long ride to Buck Ridge the previous day. The temperature in Roosevelt reached 90 degrees today. The temp at 10,000 on Lake Mountain was very comfortable, probably about 70.

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