Is there a trail to the top of Miner’s Gulch? We set out to find the answer. Miner’s Gulch is on the way to Upper Stillwater Reservoir, just a few miles past the Lower Stillwater trailhead we used to access Big Ridge.
We began our sojourn on a road, rocky but well defined. Unfortunately, that road crosses Miner’s Creek and heads toward Bear Lake, which wasn’t our destination. We followed a smaller two track straight uphill, but that ended after another few miles. From there, all we could find was an “old horse trail”, Steve-speak for “nearly invisible, except to the Steve-meister’s highly trained eye.” The “trail” had lots of blowdown and boggy areas. In one of the bogs, Boss stepped on Daisy’s foot. She howled to make sure Boss and everyone else knew about it. Fortunately, she was okay. Steve’s trail finally became so overgrown and impassable that we gave it up.
Almost back to where the road turns to Bear Lake, we found a four wheeler trail and followed it for awhile. However, it wasn’t going up, so that was no good. Turning back once again, we found yet another two track, this one going up, the correct direction. The road was quite steep, but it made a good workout for the horses. We achieved 9500 feet, and there the road/trail (and our adventure) ended. Answer: no trail reaches the top of Miner’s Gulch. At least not one we could find.
Nice views of aspen gold: -We pulled the horses’ Easy Boot Bares and rode them barefoot on the way down.
Here’s a hornet’s nest we found built under a rock ledge: Here’s a blue elderberry, full of ripe berries: All in all, we went 10 miles and 2900 feet elevation gain. We started out in sunshine and rode most of the way in clouds. Clouds are good on a warm day. Makes it cooler for the horses when they’re working hard.
Back at home, the sun shone through the clouds, plasma making nice with terra firma: