October 9, 2008

No Sleet, but Watch out for Bears

We’ve neglected Indian Canyon this year, and only went there once last year, late in the fall. Unfortunately, snow began falling as soon as we arrived on that occasion. This year, we had better luck. Temperatures were close to 60 as we started out at 7800 feet.
Our trailhead was Spring Hollow. The turnoff onto a dirt road with pulloffs for parking was marked by a sign that, surprisingly enough, said Spring Hollow…
We parked in a scenic grove of cottonwoods beside a running stream.
From there, we followed an old two-track that turned into a trail that was easy to follow for awhile, but became faint. Groves of golden aspen lined the canyon.
We eventually left the trail to travel an “old horse trail” (Steve speak for “no trail”) up the steep hill on the northeast side of the canyon. The going got so rough that we dismounted and led the horses. At the top, we found ourselves on a ridge of the Bad Land Cliffs, about 9000 feet, overlooking Argyle Canyon.

We would have followed the trail on up the ridge to the northwest, but the trail went almost straight up, then traversed along a cliff where one false move would be deadly. No thanks.
Instead, we traveled a trail going southwest.
There was actually a sign up there in the middle of nowhere pointing out Mill Hollow, which was where we wanted to go. We found an easy to follow trail that led all the way back to Indian Canyon.
On the way down, we saw some fairly fresh bear scat. Bear scent always makes Boss nervous. Almost there, he saw something ahead that made him jumpy. He started making the loud snorting noises he reserves for bear scares. He should have been chagrined to discover that what he thought might be bears was just a couple of funny-looking horses.
Our total ride was 9.5 miles, 2450 feet elevation gain, in just under 3 hrs moving time. The weather grew cloudier throughout the day and the wind picked up, but we didn’t get any rain, hail, sleet or snow. That’s always favorable. Water was available in a couple of troughs, one in each canyon. There was pretty good Indian rice and wheat grasses along the trail. Mischief enjoyed stealing a bite now and then.

1 comment:

  1. That looks like a nice place to ride. Were the two funny looking horses wild horses? It looks like you got to see them close up. They look almost muleish, but I guess that is kind of how mustangs look, isn't it?



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