Split Mountain, located in Dinosaur National Monument, makes a great spring ride.
The above photo stitch marks the trailhead and the mountaintop. Round trip, it's about 12 miles and 2200 feet altitude gain and loss.
The horses had a nice grass break about halfway up.
This twin bladderpod (physaria, of the mustard family) camouflaged a butterfly so well that we almost missed it.
Phlox was in bloom,
and a few barrel cactus sported their yellow flowers.
A couple of horned lizards scurried through the junipers. We assumed they were a couple contemplating a spring fling. Females are larger than the males in this species.
A lot of these pesky critters buzzed around us and sucked a little blood whenever they had a chance. Unfortunately, we weren't expecting flies and didn't spray the horses beforehand.
At the top of Split Mountain, we paused to take in the panorama of Green River's path through a deep gorge directly below the peak to its lazy bends in the basin beyond.
On the way down, the expansive view encompasses the desert floor, red hills, and the snow-covered Uinta Mountains, about 40 miles away.
Daisy report: No dogs allowed in the monument :( And since there was no water on the ride, she couldn't have made the distance anyway.