Friday, May 12, 2017

LIttle Soda Lake

I love the trails in this area.  The trail options are many and are easily done by a barefoot horse in reasonably good condition.  The views are spectacular.  It has everything...forests, sage, water features, meadows, wildflowers, mountain vistas. See the post on Lowline-Glimpse Lake for more trail options from the same trailhead.

(click on any photo for enlarged images)

Little Soda Lake

Directions from Pinedale.  It's about 7 miles on a dirt road.
This is a herd of draft horses by Soda Lake.  You may pass them on your drive in.  They are used in the winter to pull sleds to feed the elk herd that winters here.  This area is owned and managed by Wyoming Fish and Game.

Here are two parking spots. There is room for several rigs there or at the next one. The road has now been graded between the two and the second one gets you closer to the Little Soda doubletrack without having to ride an extra mile on dirt road.  There is also a clearing just before the lower circled spot that provides room for several rigs and is an excellent place when accessing the "upper" trails.

This track was done on May 10, 2017.  About 7.2 miles.  Min. altitude=7,507'; Max. altitude=7,802';  Trail conditions were muddy and some snow, but also much dry ground.  20% rocky, 80% dirt, grass.  

This track was done on July 29, 2017.  About 6.5 miles.  Mostly soft dirt, grass with some deadfall, sage and about 10% slightly rocky. Some doubletrack, some single track and some "basically no trail." It's  do-able late June to September and possibly October depending on snowfall. Barefoot friendly.

This is NOT Little Soda, but a "pond" named "Mud Lake".

Mud Lake...still a nice water feature, May 10

A view of Mud Lake on July 22, 2017

There was some snow on May 10.
Spectacular view of Fremont Lake, May 10

Another view on July 26

One of the water features on May 10 that disappeared later in the season.

View of  "Summit" lake or "Chain" lake depending on which map you look at.

Another water feature that we had to ride right through on May 10.
One of the "mini meadows".  This particular one was knee deep in water in May, but is clear in July.  I named it "Dead Elk Meadow".

Heading back by Mud Lake after seeing Little Soda Lake.

One of the gorgeous forest places accessible in July, but snow covered in May.
July 26
Another view of Fremont Lake from a little lower location.

Little No Name pond on the way to the east side of Little Soda.

View of Little Soda from the east side.

Heading back to trailhead from "upper" trail.  Soda Lake in the background.

A great place to park when accessing the "upper" trails.
This is a "Landmark" of the trail that goes up from the Little Soda Doubletrack.  It is easy to miss, but the key is "Two Parallel Logs".

Two logs are the Landmarks that show where the loop trail meets the "Upper" trail.  Arrow marks the trail.  Easy to miss from this vantage.  Usually we ride it "counter-clock wise" up from the photo above.  A guide would be helpful on the first time to get the full loop ride as the trail disappears in many places.  But, it's all fun!

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