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!