Monday, June 12, 2017

Kelly Park

These beautiful trails are right near Sweeney Creek.  See that post for more information.  There are water features, sagebrush hills, wildflowers, meadows, grand forests and lots of grass and soft dirt.  Great for barefoot horses. Kelly Park is a well known mecca for cross country skiing and snow shoeing in the winter.  There are places at the beginning of the doubletrack to pull off for dispersed camping.  The road deteriorates rapidly up higher.  
(Click on any photo to see enlarged images.)

This is Kelly Park Meadow right where the Fortification trail joins it. We were stopped by deadfall as we attempted Fortification.

Kelly Park parking area.  Right off the paved road and 20 minutes from Pinedale.

Paved Kelly Park parking area.  Room for about 5 rigs.

This was our track on May 30, 2017.  We parked at Sweeney Creek trailhead, hoping to connect to Kelly Park and cross the road.  However, the intermittent creek was too deep and swampy to cross over at the Kelly Park trailhead. We wandered through the forest, doing some serious bushwhacking ending up on some forest service roads.  Total ride was about 6 miles.

Sweeney Creek Parking area.  The right hand circled area is now discouraged for parking.

Looking back on the Sweeney Creek parking area.

This is the creek that was too high to cross safely on May 30, 2017.

Nice forest.

Most of the riding was on soft dirt like this.

Some majestic lodgepole pines.
This is heading out on the graded forest service road.  It was quite hard and gravelly. We avoided it when possible.

Headed back to the Sweeney trailhead and a crossing over the intermittent creek.  This one was passable.

On June 10, we parked at Kelly Park Trailhead and explored some of those trails.  About 7 miles of fantastic riding.
Riding just above the Kelly Park double track.  Wildflowers galore!

The double track ends up in a meadow.  On June 10, it was boggy and wet all over.

Boggy, but Wow on the wildflowers!

Much of the doubletrack looked like this.

...and this.

That's Fremont Lake in the far distance.
We attempted the trail connecting to Sweeney Creek, but ran into impassable deadfall. (Update:  I understand this trail has been cleared now.)

Some fun trail markers.

The trail wound back to a creek and the paved road about 1.5 miles from where we parked.  We turned right (North) and followed another nice trail for about 1.5 miles more, but were stopped again by deadfall.  (Update:  Approximately in the middle of this photo is a place where the small stream can be crossed to access the "White Pine" portion of the trail.  See the photos at the bottom of this post.)

This trail will definitely need more exploring.  So beautiful!  (Update:  We explored this trail further  up and it dead ends.)
Beautiful color, September 30, 2017

The meadow on September 30.  Still a few soggy spots, but "looks" dry.

Look at that long grass!  September 30.
On August 7, 2017, we parked in a different place to see if we could access the trails referenced above.
This shows our track on August 7.  We parked at the pink circle.  It doesn't look like a parking area, but it has a trailhead sign.  Room for one rig only.  We rode south and found the place to cross the little creek over to rest of the Kelly Park trails. (shown by the yellow arrow).  This particular ride was short. (under 4 miles.) but can be added to the other trails listed above.

This is the stream crossing referenced by the Yellow Arrow above.

Heading north on the double track towards White Pine ski resort.
Heading north on the double track towards White Pine ski resort

Heading north on the double track towards White Pine ski resort. You can see it in the distance.
Heading north on the double track towards White Pine ski resort

Looking east.  Lots of grass and water features.

Heading south back to the parking area.  Note the piles of branch cuttings scheduled for burning later in the season.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lowline and Glimpse Lake Trails

Some spectacular trails accessible from the same trailhead as Little Soda Lake
Here are shown photos of both the Lowline Trail (which is used to access Glimpse Lake.  I realize there is ANOTHER "Lowline" trail by Scab Creek.  They're quite a ways apart. In the future, they will be referred to as Lowline-Soda and Lowline-Scab.) AND a very small portion of the Glimpse Lake Trail.  More photos will be added as we ride further.
(click on any photo for enlarged images. Many of the photos courtesy of Teisha Preece)

Go through a gate and head north from the trailhead parking. You CAN park just over the cattle guard to avoid the gate.  At first it is just open sagebrush.

Track taken on June 5, 2017.  Total mileage: 10 miles.  Elevation=7,507-8,638'  Ascent/descent=1,300'  Trail conditions:  Lowline Trail is Dirt and grass=80%,  Somewhat Rocky=20%; Deadfall factor= 8 to 10. Great for barefoot horses.  The Glimpse Lake Trail is 50% dirt and 50% rocky, not so great for barefoot.  Big rocks and those little ouchy ones.

Then a gradual turn to the right and it opens into grassy areas along a fenceline.  This portion of the trail was really boggy and muddy on June 5, 2017.
Riding along the fence line up the Lowline.

Up some hillsides on the Lowline trail.  

Small No-name lake.

Then past an even smaller pond.

Lots of meadows.
Aspen groves....

Some small water features.  This is probably one of the only places for the animals to drink.

 View down into Spring Creek Park.  A trail heads down that way, but it looked really boggy on June 5.

  Where the Glimpse Lake Trail heads up from the Lowline.  There is a sign that says "Trail".

  Heading up the Glimpse Lake Trail.

Also heading up the Glimpse Lake Trail.
 View of Willow Lake from Glimpse Trail.
Wow Factor looking at the Winds and Fremont Lake

Again the Wow Factor increases.
Looking at the Wind River Mountains.  We think the lake is part of Long Lake.

More of the Glimpse Lake Trail

And still More of the Glimpse Lake Trail

And still more

And more of the gorgeous Glimpse Trail.

The fabulous forest just does not stop...

View of Fremont Lake

A zoom view of Fremont Lake.  There happened to be one boat on the lake.
Glimpse Lake Trail on top of the ridge looking south.

Much of the Glimpse Trail is rocky like this.

Lots of forest like this.

We encountered a few snow patches on June 7.

Heading back down the Lowline.  Beautiful view of Soda Lake.

One of my favorite parts of the Lowline trail.  Sigh.....

This is a critical junction coming down onto the Lowline Trail.  The correct path coming up from Soda Lake is the trail on the left.  The one on the right comes up from Spring Creek Trailhead. (Yes, it's shorter, but inaccessible by horse trailers as of June, 2017)

Heading out on the lower part of the Lowline.

This IS Bear Country.  Stay noisy and watchful.