Saturday, August 12, 2017

North Horse Creek

There was much talk about the Horse Creek trails and we finally got to ride there.  Spectacular views.  Great trails. Meadows, wildflowers, forests and reasonably decent dirt road to get there.  There are many options here and we're looking forward to exploring.

Directions from Pinedale.

Yellow arrow shows parking spot.  Blue arrow shows where the dirt road begins.  

Parking area

Close up of parking area

Topo track of ride on August 1, 2017.  Mileage=about 10 miles.  Elevation change=8,182 to 8,704'  Trail conditions:  65% dirt/grass, 25% mildly rocky, 10% very rocky. Many stream crossings.

GPS track of ride on August 1, 2017

This is where a faint trail to the left leaves to eventually intersect with the Wyoming Recreation Trail.

Looking south to other trails.

Looking towards Dead Man Mountain.
This shows a challenging little creek crossing.  Apparently, the Forest Services guys in front of us had no problem.  The yellow arrow shows the regular trail crossing.  Two in our group crossed there, but the opposite side was steep and gave away with each step.  One horse lost a boot here that had to be retrieved.  The blue arrows and lines show an alternate crossing that was better.  Circled are the two trees that mark the landmark for the crossing on the way back. There were a couple of  deep muddy spots, but avoidable.

This is our challenging creek crossing on the way back.  Note the two dead trees.  Right above Zamba's black ears is the best spot.  Keep to the left to avoid the mud hole.

A really rocky creek crossing, but not nearly the challenge as the one shown above.

On August 10, we took a different track on Forest Service Road 10352.  We parked just past the bridge by the Sherman Guard Station.  There is a clearing that could handle several rigs. Or further down the dirt road, there are other parking options. Mileage on this track=7 miles.  Elevation change=7,779 to 8,510'.  Trail conditions=75% dirt/grass, 25% mildly rocky.  This one's do-able after a rainstorm or even snow.

We followed the road that branches off left from the main dirt road.

Some rocky areas, but a horse in good barefoot condition could do it without boots.
Just keep on going.  It's closed there to vehicles.

A considerable area of burned forest from about 6 years ago.

View from the top of the ridge looking toward the Wyoming Range.

Secluded lunch spot.

Headed back down.  What a view!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pole Creek--Photographer's Point

An impressive ride with gorgeous meadows, wildflowers, water features, stunning vistas, amazing evergreen forests.  The trailhead is easily accessible on paved road about 30 minutes from Pinedale.  It has some easy soft dirt, but plenty of rocks and mudholes.  Horses need boots or shoes unless they are super great barefoot.  Elevation goes up to over 10,000 feet and we encountered some snow patches even in July.  Probably good riding from July until the first snow. The trail starts at the car parking lot at Elkhart Park.

(click on any photo to open enlarged images)

Two options for parking.

Riding into the parking area.  There are even a few campsites right next to it and some horse corrals.  Camping fees are $7 per night.

Topo map track of our ride on July 18, 2017.

Total mileage to "The Point" is about 5.5, making about 11 miles round trip.  Elevation change 9,281' to 10,322'.  Trail conditions:  Dirt about 30%, moderately rocky 65%, extremely rocky, 10%, mudholes, 5%.

View from the "Main" livestock parking area.
Paved livestock parking area.

The forests just go on and on...

And on...

The first little meadow
Most of trail was like this.

Pond at about 3.5 miles in.

Trail intersection.  Keep to the left for Photographer's Point.  About 1.5 miles further.

Pond at about 4.5 miles in
The trees are spectacular.

Looking out from the Point.  We think the lake in the distance is Suicide Lake.
Panorama taken of the view by Teisha Preece
The "pond" at the "Point".  It even had frogs.
Another view at the Point.

And still another....Fremont Peak.

Time to head back.  It took us about 2 hours from Point to Parking Lot.