September 27, 2008

Blind Stream

We drove the road from Mountain Home toward Upper Stillwater Reservoir, passing Big Ridge, Dry Creek Ridge, and Farm Creek Peak, all festooned in autumn glory. Almost to Upper Stillwater, we turned left on a road that eventually leads to Hannah. The track is narrow, windy, and unpaved, passing through some lovely aspen groves, and under the shadow of some impressive limestone cliffs. The rocks beneath these cliffs are loaded with fossils:
Soon after the road levels out, past Blind Stream Peak, but before reaching Blind Stream, there is an old road bed leading uphill to the right at a steep angle. We parked truck and trailer near there, saddled up and started off. We had passed only one SUV on the road while driving up, and met maybe half a dozen four wheelers. Right after we got out of our truck, a 4 wheeler passed with a freshly gutted deer on the back. Daisy took off after it, hoping to have a snack, but she came back when she realized nothing was being offered. (How insensitive of that hunter!)
We began riding without our EasyBoot Bares, but after a couple of miles the trail continued to be littered with sharp rocks, so we stopped and put the boots on. The road didn’t seem to follow the path shown on our map, so we soon took off cross country, headed for some overlooks at about 11,000 feet. (We had started at about 10,000 feet.) We continued over hill and dale and through spruce forests. As we reached tundra and the Krumholtz (stunted, twisted evergreens that grow up high), the ground was covered with gravel sized rocks, allowing for easy trotting and cantering.
The overviews had steep drop-offs to the valleys below. Aspen groves on East Granddaddy Mountain across the valley were clearly visible. We also identified Blind Stream Peak. The view was vast and breathtaking, as is so often the case in the Uintas. We didn’t even try to follow the road on the way back, but just set a compass heading and took off, making for a much faster transit.
Overall, we traveled 12 miles, 2000 feet elevation gain, in 3 hours moving time. This trailhead ends up being about 1 hr, 25 minutes from Roosevelt, at trailer towing speeds.

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