3/18/2016 – Cripple Creek Trail – 703

Date of Hike: 3/18/2016
Location of Hike: Cripple Creek Trail
Trail Number: 703
Weather during Hike: sunny and windy at times
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:15 AM  End Time: 1:00 PM
Hike Distance: 4.4 miles  
Pictures: Link
Hike description
The hike today was just a chance to get out and take Bodie out while he is still able. Based on trail difficulty and snow levels, the choices were limited, but I decided to hike the Cripple Creek trail again, since it would be snow free for a while, and it had few downed trees on it (Bodie has a harder and harder time with downed logs). The plan was to have a relatively easy day and to go as far as we could.

We set down the trail a little later than usual – I knew it would be a short day, so wasn’t concerned about getting out of the house early. When we got to the first rockslide, I stopped for a bit and tried to get my bearings – I need to figure out what peaks these are. Looking southeast:

Looking southwest:

After looking a bit, we continued on – no new logs were down that I could see and the trail was in good shape. I was REALLY surprised to see snow at hillside meadow, though:

Not much, but even a little was surprising to me – that was only about 2200′!!!! We continued down the trail (or up the trail I guess since we were heading up) and the snow started to get deeper and deeper. When we got to the 4635-130 spur crossing, it was pretty deep:

We continued up the hill a little farther – I was kind of hoping to get to the big rockslide, but the snow just kept getting deeper What a change from a month ago, when there was NO snow at this level. That big rockslide was almost completely clear of snow. I was hoping to eat lunch in the sun, but due to the snow, we decided to turn around about a quarter of a mile before the rockslide. I found a small section of trail that was in the sun and didn’t have too much snow on it, so we stopped there, had lunch and then headed down.

The trip down was uneventful and pretty quick. Once back at the truck since it was so early I decided to drive up the pipeline road to see what it looked like. I’ve never driven that road. It was interesting, as it basically follows the pipeline. It took us past Frog Lake:

And then past the old Oak Grove Work Center, where someone was doing something (not sure what, but they drove in thru the locked gate on the 4631 side. We drove down into Ripplebrook and I drove around a couple of the roads there – Rondy’s daughter and first wife had talked about what Ripplebrook looked like earlier so I thought I’d drive around it while it was still fresh in my mind.

After driving around Ripplebook, we got back to 224 and headed back home. A quick, but nice day in the woods. Bodie had fun I think and did really well.

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