Sunday, February 23, 2014

Native American Falls, Arkansas Ozarks

2/22/2014 - Hike to Native American Falls

GPS Coordinates: 
  Parking:  35.71632, -93.09876
  Native American Falls:  35.71345, -93.10533

Pet friendly: Iffy.  OK for pets off leash, pets on leash would be extremely difficult due to the amount of undergrowth and rough terrain.

Motorcycle friendly: Yes.  Just pull off Hwy 7 and park.

Native American Falls
I had been wanting to check out Native American Falls for some time.  Every time I head north to the Richland Wilderness or Buffalo River regions, I drive right through Pelsor (Sand Gap), and right past this waterfall.  So when I finished my hike to all the waterfalls in the upper Richland area today and still had a few hours of daylight, I felt this was as good a time as any.  After all, it was only supposed to be a 1.5 mile round trip hike, and you can park right next to the highway.  

Getting there is easy.  About 0.4 miles south of Pelsor (aka Sand Gap) on Highway 7, there is a Wildlife Management Area sign on the west side of the road.  Pull over and park right there.  There is some logging activity currently at this location, so park right by the sign to be out of the way of logging equipment.  Don't worry, the logging is restricted to pretty much right by the highway.  The canyon down closer to the creek is too steep and rugged for large equipment to get down there.  I guess that's a good thing and a bad thing; the forest stays intact around the creek, but it makes for a pretty rough hike also.

View from top of Native American Falls
From the sign, head west away from the highway and bushwhack down to the creek below.  It is about a quarter mile to the creek.  It is steep and there is a lot of loose leaves and rocks, but nothing the average hiker can't handle.  Once you get to the creek, head downstream.  There is a fair amount of undergrowth in this area, but you can hike unimpeded on one bank or the other in most stretches.  The creek itself is small, and the bed is solid rock.  So depending on the level of water, you can also hike right down the creek bed.  That's what I did, and in less than a half mile you come to the top of the falls.  This is quite a view, with a large rock crag overhanging on the left.  

The problem is, you really want to get to the base of the falls.  That can be a little tricky.  I scoped out the right side of the creek canyon and didn't see any way.  On the left, there was a break in the rock bluffline a little downstream of that big rock overhang.  It is marked with white trail ribbon.  Be careful if you descend there.  I did, and it is quite steep and loose footing.  But I made it with no broken bones and the reward is a very pretty 41' waterfall.  Unlike many falls in the Ozarks, this one is more like a very steep cascade instead of an actual waterfall over a rock overhang.  The water level is low due our recent lack of precipitation, but the falls looked nice anyway.

From top of 1st Slot Canyon Falls
I decided I would explore a little more downstream.  There is a slot canyon just a little downstream that has a waterfall where the creek enters the canyon, then another where it exits.

For the trip back, I thought I would go off script and take a shorter route straight over to Hwy 7, then hike along the highway back to the parking location.  At least that way, a good deal of the trip would be devoid of undergrowth.  That was not a good idea.  It was very steep going up the creek canyon at that point, and actually added a good deal of time and distance to my hike.  Not to mention that Hwy 7 is not nearly as scenic as the creek is.  I would recommend going back up the creek, and back to the highway the same route as going in.  Also, right along Hwy 7 much of the property is private, not forest service land.  Be sure to respect property owner's rights.

This is a very pretty area.  It is also very steep, rugged, and has a good deal of undergrowth to make your way through.  I would rate it as a moderate to difficult bushwhack.  It may be that I was already a little tired from the six miles I had hiked around Twin Falls earlier in the day, but this hike really took it out of me.  The ruggedness of the area might be a factor as well.  It was only 1.94 miles total on my track, and 1:23 for time, but it sure seemed like it was all uphill.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hamilton, Twin, and Richland Falls - New Route - Richland Wilderness, Arkansas

2/22/2014 - New Trail to Twin Falls, Hamilton Falls, Richland Falls

GPS Coordinates: 
  Parking and Trail Head:  35.82546, -92.94733
  Hamilton Falls:  35.81199, -92.96375
  Twin Falls: 35.80594, -92.96412
  Richland Falls: 35.80075, -92.96010
  Devon Falls:  35.81724,  -92.96145
  Trail branch to top of Long Devil's Falls: 35.80555, -92.96223

Pet Friendly: Yes.  Easy for pets off leash, doable with pets on leash

Motorcycle Friendly: No.  The road is definitely too rough.  Wouldn't take my Harley on it.

GPS files:
  GPS track file for FR-1205 to Hamilton Falls to Twin Falls (.gpx format)
  GPS track file for Twin Falls to FR-1205 (.gpx format)

Big Devil's Falls (right Twin)
I think I have made no secret of the fact that Twin Falls of Richland is my favorite of all the Arkansas Waterfalls.  The down side of that is getting there and getting back, never all that easy but always worth the trip.  Today, I set out to see if there was a better way.  

There are three other routes (that I know of) to visit these falls.  You can drop down the spur from Sandstone Castle, but you have to get to Sandstone Castle first, then go back to where you parked.  From Hill Cemetery, it is not an overly difficult hike, but it is fairly long and going to and from takes a good part of your hiking day.  And add another 1.6 miles if you can't get down the Hill Cemetery road.  Going up Richland Creek from the campground is very scenic, but not an easy hike.  The trail is a little rugged and you have to ford across two creeks, three if you 
count Devil's Fork.  

Where I Parked
Where I Should Have Parked
So I broke out the Topo maps and looked for a different route.  I picked the point on FR-1205 closest to Twin Falls, which looked like it was on the peak of the mountain spur that drops right above the falls.  My thinking was "if I had to haul stuff with a horse and wagon, where would I put my road"?  Or a logging truck, for that matter.  It appeared you could stay on the peak of the ridge with very little elevation change until it sloped down to the falls.  On my Topo Maps software, the route I plotted was only 1.64 miles!  Compare that to 2.8 miles one-way from Hill Cemetery. That is, IF you can drive to Hill Cemetery. I know, I know, you can only tell so much from Topo maps and high resolution aerial photos.  You can't see those rock cliffs that take you a half mile out of the way, or numerous other 'Ozark obstacles'.  That's why a field trip was needed.  At least, that was my excuse for getting out in the wilderness today.  I did some internet research and could find nothing about a route to Twin Falls this way.

I was pretty close on my mapping and calculating.  From the parking location I headed south-west along the top of the mountain ridge.  Very quickly, I ran into an old trace road heading the direction of the route I plotted.  I followed it, but vowed to go back the other way on my return hike to see where it intersected FR-1205.  As it turned out, the old trace road angles back to FR-1205 and there is an excellent parking location at the roadway.  This was another 0.1 mile from where I had parked up next to the road.  It looked like folks had used this turn out as a campground in the past.  I followed the trace road all the way to the spur where the ridge dropped off toward Twin Falls.  Along the way, you stay on top of the ridge with the creek canyon that Devon Falls is in falling off to the right, and another creek drainage on the left that flows into Richland Creek.

Hamilton Falls 
I dropped off the right flank of the mountain directly toward Hamilton Falls.  I arrived at Hamilton Falls in only 45 minutes from my start on FR-1205, and a little less than 1.7 miles on the GPS track!  Woo-hoo!  Easy peasy!  I spent some time taking photos and soaking in some Natural State beauty, then went on downstream to Twin Falls.  At Twin Falls, my total GPS track time from FR-1205 was 1:14, and total distance was 2.11 miles.  Not bad.  

Normally, I would be eating my lunch by the time I got to Twin Falls.  Today, with extra time on my hands, I headed on to Richland Falls.  To get the most diversity on my hike, I took the high route on the way there, then took the low route at creek level on the way back to Twin Falls.  I ate a leisurely lunch, hydrated, and rested up a bit, then headed back.

This is the part I don't care for, no matter which route you take.  Twin Falls is
Richland Falls
under 1200 feet elevation, and where you need to go is almost 2000 feet. At least you get the hard uphill part out of the way in the first half mile, and pretty much coast the rest of the way.  I picked up the old trace road toward the top of the mountain, and was able to follow it back to the trail head.  There are few real obstacles along this route.  One of those is a bunch of brambles right below the ridge.  On the way in, I skirted around them to the left but on the way back I just bulled through them.  Not too bad with jeans on, but wouldn't want to do that in the summer with shorts on.  I can see where that would be much worse in spring/summer.  You might want to skirt around it in summer, but let's face it - this is going to be a bushwhack no matter which route you go.  I would rate this a moderate to difficult bushwhack, similar to the other routes.

Twin Falls
To get there, take Highway 7 north and turn onto Highway 123 north at Lurton.  From the 'T' where you can turn left to Hwy 7 or right to Hwy 123, turn right and go 1.5 miles.  Turn right on NC5070 (aka FR-1200, aka CR-36, aka Herbie Hampton Rd, aka Assembly of God Church Road). Take NC5070 for 6.8 miles, then turn right on NC5080 (aka FR-1205).  Go 4.4 miles on NC5080 (FR-1205) and turn right into the parking location and trail head.  If you know where Dickey Junction is, this trail head is right at one mile south of Dickey Junction on FR-1205, or 2.8 miles past Iceledo Gap.  FR-1205 continues on to the Richland Campground and Falling Water Road, but my experience is that the road from Lurton is usually in much better shape than coming in from the south.

All in all, this was a great day to be outdoors in the wilderness area.  I got to put another route in my bag of tricks for this area and had a great time doing it.  Normally, trips into Twin Falls are an all day affair.  I did a lot of sightseeing and still ended up with plenty of daylight left.  I decided to stop by Native American Falls on my way home since you can park for that hike right off Hwy 7.  I'll make a post for that hike soon.
GPS tracks for FR-1205 to Hamilton Falls, then Twin Falls,, and back to FR-1205

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lonesome Hollow Falls, Arkansas Ozarks

2/18/2014 - Hike to Lonesome Hollow Falls

GPS Coordinates:
  Parking:  35.80639, -93.15759
  Lonesome Hollow Falls:  35.80487, -93.16006

Pet friendly: Yes.  OK for pets on or off leash.

Motorcycle friendly: Yes.  Less than a mile down a fairly good gravel road.  I would take mine on this road.

Lonesome Hollow Falls
While I was in the Cowell area exploring Cub Hollow, I had plenty of daylight left and decided to check out Lonesome Hollow Falls.  This is only 'just over the mountain' from Cub Hollow, but is a much different hike.  It is one of the easiest, quickest hikes to get to a really nice waterfall.  Only 1.1 miles round trip, and practically devoid of underbrush.

To get there, go to the Cowell Cemetery, about 0.2 miles south of Cowell.  The cemetery is right on Highway 7.  County road NC-7120 goes behind the cemetery, and comes back out on Hwy 7.  Take NC-7120 halfway around the cemetery, and take FR-1253 where it tees in to the west.  There are two dirt roads at this point; FR-1253 is the south-most of these, and has signs that say 'Dead End' and 'One Lane Road with Turnouts'.  Follow FR-1253 for 0.9 miles and park on the right at one of those turnouts that is an old logging trail, now with an earth berm to barricade it off.  It looks like 4-wheelers still use this road.  
Bluff at Lonesome Hollow
Take the old logging road as it descends into Lonesome Hollow to the left of the parking location.  On the right is the rock bluff that forms the overhang that Lonesome Hollow Falls runs over.  After about only a quarter mile, you will notice the road cuts over this rock bluffline.  Exit the old road to the right and go down to the base of this rock bluffline.  The first few yards off the road to the base of the bluffline are loose rocks, and about the only part of this hike you might call a bushwhack.  Follow along the base of the rock bluffline about another quarter mile, and you will come to Lonesome Hollow Falls.  If you stick to the base of the rock bluff, it is mostly on the level and practically no undergrowth at all.  Technically there is no trail, but it is so easy it hardly seems like a bushwhack at all.

Lonesome Hollow Falls
If you want to go to the top of the falls, there are a couple of locations you can exit the old road to the right and go along the top of the bluffline.  I hiked out to scope out this as well.  Other than a spectacular view of Lonesome Hollow, you can't see much else, just where the creek disappears over the edge of the overhang.

Today, the waterfall was a little lacking for water due to the recent lack of precipitation.  Nonetheless, it was still a beautiful little waterfall in a beautiful area.  I plan to come back later this spring after we get some rain.  I would highly recommend this hike any time of year and with any amount of groundwater.  It is just too easy.  Lonesome Hollow itself and the falls, even in low water, are a real treat. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cub Hollow, Arkansas Ozarks

2/18/2014 - Hike to Cub Hollow major waterfalls

GPS Coordinates:
  Parking: 35.80240, -93.12701
  Fuzzy Cub Falls: 35.80241, -93.13214
  Papa Cub Falls: 35.80505, -93.13346
  Baby Cub Falls: 35.80384, -93.13317
  Twin Cub Falls: 35.80368, -93.13541
  Roly-Poly Cub Falls: 35.79823, -93.13654
  Mama Cub Falls: 35.79363, -93.13011

Pet friendly: Iffy.  OK for pets off leash, pets on leash would be extremely difficult due to the amount of undergrowth and rough terrain.
Motorcycle friendly: Yes.  Just pull off Hwy 7 and park.

Cub Hollow is a neat little valley tucked away in the Ozark National Forest that is a polyfoss area.  That is, there are a number of waterfalls in a relatively small area.  Some of the waterfalls are fairly high, thanks to the steep and rough terrain. I didn't name it, but I'm assuming from the name there is a heavy bear population.  I didn't see any on this day, but it was the middle of February and we have had extremely cold weather the past two weeks, so I am assuming any bears would still be hibernating. 

Cub Hollow Parking
To get there, take Highway 7 to the trailhead between Lurton and Cowell.  The hollow is directly adjacent to Hwy 7, and there is a good place to park near a bus stop sign 3.8 miles south of Cowell or 7.2 miles north of Pelsor/Sand Gap.  Since you need to make a wide loop to see all the falls in this hollow, you could park anywhere within a quarter mile of this location, but here you have plenty of room off the highway and an old 4-wheeler track that can help you the last quarter mile of the hike.

Cub Hollow Creek
In Tim Ernst's book, Arkansas Waterfalls, there are some spectacular photos of some of these falls.  Unfortunately, on this day not so much.  It is still a raw, beautiful chunk of Arkansas wilderness, but most of the falls did not have enough water to really see what they were like.  We have had a serious dry spell, with the only recent precipitation being an ice and snow storm a couple of weeks ago.  We have not had a good rainfall for 5 weeks.  Cub Hollow Creek itself had a fair amount of water, but almost all of the waterfalls are on tributary creeks that feed it.  Those feeder creeks were all still running, but at low water flow levels.

After parking, the first fall in the loop is Fuzzy Cub Falls.  It's creek drainage is directly below the parking area.  You can go directly west of the parking area to go down this drainage to the falls.  This is a 31 foot waterfall, but today there was just a trickle of water so this one was not all that impressive. You will need to find a way below the bluffline to the base of Fuzzy Cub Falls.  I climbed down the rock wall to the left of the falls (looking downstream).  This may not work well for those more vertically challenged or unwilling to chance a short fall.  There are other gaps in the bluffline on the right (north) side.  

Baby Cub Falls
Follow the base of this bluffline to the north and you will come to the overhang that the 48' high Papa Cub Falls runs over.  This falls is on a feeder creek and runs into Cub Hollow Creek right at the falls.  If you look upstream from here, you can see Baby Cub Falls.  This is one of the few waterfalls actually on Cub Hollow Creek itself. Ironically, although it is named 'Baby Cub' and is not very tall, it was one of the few that had enough water this day to make a pretty waterfall.

From Baby Cub Falls, stay on the west side of the creek and follow the bluffline downstream to where the next tributary feeds in from the west.  Follow this creek up to almost the top of the bluffline, and that is where you will find Twin Cub Falls, a double falls that runs down the rock face at the top of the bluffline.  This is a steep creek, with cascades running the length from the falls to where it feeds into Cub Hollow Creek.  I also found a small cave about halfway up to Twin Cub Falls.  And no, there was no hibernating bear.  Yes, I did look.

Twin Cub Falls
From Twin Falls, pick your way down the creek to Cub Hollow Creek, then follow that downstream.  This is fairly rough terrain, and you just have to pick your way down the rocks as best you can.  Cub Hollow Creek is a beautiful little Ozark creek, and worth the hike in itself.  Roly-Poly Cub Falls is about 0.4 miles downstream from where Twin Cub Creek feeds in.  You will pass where Fuzzy Cub Creek feeds in from the east.  The next feeder creek feeding in from the west is where 47' high Roly-Poly Cub Falls is, just above where it feeds into Cub Hollow Creek.  There was just a trickle coming over the falls today, but it is easy to see how spectacular this falls would be in wet weather.

Momma Cub Falls
From Roly-Poly Cub Falls, go another half mile downstream to where the next creek feeds in from the east.  Follow this feeder upstream, and you will come to a nice waterfall a short distance upstream.  This creek is also fairly steep and rough, a virtual rock scramble all the way up.  It has numerous nice cascades and small waterfalls.  About .4 miles up this feeder creek, you will come to Momma Cub Falls, the last on our big loop.  This 39' high waterfall runs out over a large overhang.  It looked nice today, so it must be spectacular with lots of water.

From Momma Cub Falls, bushwhack north-northeast back to the parking location.  To do this, you will need to get above the bluffline that forms Momma Cub Falls.  Follow the rock bluffline to the left of the falls, and it will take you up through a fissure.  At the top of the fissure is a rock against the bluff that gives just enough boost to let you climb above the bluffline.  From there it is just a bushwhack back through the woods to the parking location.

I would rate this a difficult bushwhack.  The terrain is rough and steep over most of the loop you hike, and where there isn't a rock scramble there is a lot of undergrowth to deal with.  Because of the undergrowth, I would recommend only hiking this in the Winter.  Also, only in wet weather to get the full scenic impact of the waterfalls.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Richland Falls and Twin Falls, Richland Wilderness, Arkansas

1/16/2014 - Hike to Richland Falls and Twin Falls

GPS Coordinates: 
  Twin Falls: 35.80594, -92.96412
  Richland Falls: 35.80075, -92.96010
  Devon Falls:  35.81724,  -92.96145
  Hill Cemetery trail-head:  35.83848, -92.97277
  Trail branch to top of Long Devil's Falls: 35.80555, -92.96223

Pet Friendly: Yes.  Easy for pets off leash, doable with pets on leash
Motorcycle Friendly: No.  The road is definitely too rough and steep

I won't rehash the "how to get there" since I included driving directions to Iceledo Gap and Hill Cemetery in my blog post for my last hike to Twin Falls.  They can be referenced here

Richland Falls
There are literally hundreds of wonderful waterfalls in the northwest Arkansas Ozarks.  If I had to pick just one of these as my favorite, it would be the Twin Falls of Richland Wilderness area.  These falls may not have the power and majesty of, say, the lower Yellowstone River falls, but the differences are exactly what makes these my favorites.  At the big Falls in Yellowstone, you will share the view with thousands of other tourists on any given day.  And you will only be allowed to walk on the designated path, and must stay far away behind barriers to even see the Falls.  Don't get me wrong - I love Yellowstone and they are worth seeing.  But you'll see them as a tourist, and that's not the way we like to roll.  

Twin Falls (and Boomer)
The Twin Falls of Richland are miles deep inside a designated wilderness area, so no motorized access of any kind is allowed.  That means the people that can't, or just won't, hike a few miles over rough terrain will never see them.  Which means there are precious few people that even go there, and thus very little trace of mankind in the area.  No walkways and barriers, no signs put up by the park service.  No trash, nothing but nature.  No telephone poles, no power lines, no noise other than the crashing of the water coming over the falls.  Truly one of the most beautiful spots God put on the face of the earth, so of course he had to put it someplace hard enough to get to that people wouldn't mess it up.  I have encountered an occasional hiker on the trail, but have never been to Twin Falls when someone else was there.  The tranquility and serenity are as awesome as the fantastic views.

Hill Cemetery Trailhead
Today was forecast for highs in the 50's and a clear and sunny sky.  After two weeks of miserable, freezing weather, we were ready for a decent day to go hiking.  So Bethany, Boomer (our German Shepard), and I loaded up in the Explorer to go do some exploring.  After getting to Iceledo Gap, we took one look at the Hill Cemetery road, and said "no way".  But after going down it most of the way we decided it wasn't that bad after all, and we knew we would be tired at the end of the day.  So I went back, got the Explorer, and drove it down Hill Cemetery Road while Boomer and Bethany continued on.  The worst part of the road is at the top, and if you don't have good ground clearance I would not recommend chancing it.  I put it in 4-wheel drive just in case, but with the exception of a couple of dicey spots it was bad.  There was still a good deal of ice and snow on the road, and a couple of the creeks were still flowing across it.  But nothing we couldn't handle and sure enough, at the end of our long day we were grateful to not have to hike almost a mile extra uphill to Iceledo Gap. 

Devon Falls
Leaving Hill Cemetery, you cross over the headwaters of Big Devil's Fork almost right away.  Today, it had a fair amount of water so we knew we would have plenty in the waterfalls downstream.  The trip out to Twin Falls was pleasant and easy.  The weather was just about perfect for hiking and while the ground was fairly soggy from the melting snow, there weren't any mud holes or anything to dodge.  We stopped where the trail crosses just above Devon Falls and let Boomer play around in the cascades just upstream of the falls.  

Twin Falls of Richland
Continuing on, we decided to go straight to Twin Falls, bypassing Hamilton Falls for now.  This was Boomer's first trip here, and I wasn't so sure how he would do going down into the creek canyon where Hamilton Falls is.  It is pretty rough going downstream also, and I couldn't remember if any of that rock scramble would be more than he could navigate.  So we stayed on the old trace road a little further.  As it turned out, a little further than we should have.  When we cut over to go down to Twin Falls, we had overshot quite a ways and found ourselves above a very steep bluff line, primarily sandstone cliffs.  Instead of backtracking, we forged ahead, coming down a very steep slope next to one of the sandstone cliffs.  Bad choice.  It was a challenge just coming down to the bench level, then we had a very rough rock scramble back to where we should have been, right above Twin Falls.  Lesson learned - use the GPS, even if you think you know where you are and where you are going.

Long Devil's Falls
Finally getting down to Twin Falls, it was worth the extra work.  The ice and water combined for a dazzling effect.  There was quite a build-up of ice on the Long Devil's Falls, but I was still able to cross over behind it.  If you look closely at the photo, that's me in the 'ice window' behind the falls.  Boomer followed close on my heels; he was quite concerned about me going into such a tunnel of ice and snow.  As it turned out the downstream creek was actually low enough to cross on the rocks, and that's where Bethany crossed over.

We continued downstream to Richland Falls.  You have a couple of choices here.  There is a trail that goes downstream pretty much at creek level.  That's the way we went going to Richland Falls.  There is a point about halfway from the juncture of the two creeks and the falls itself where you have to go upward into a draw and the trail continues on the shelf level above Richland Creek.  On the way back, we started on the same trail.  Then instead of going back down the draw to the creek level, we stayed on the trail that runs along the shelf above the creek.  This is actually a more direct and easy route.  This trail will take you to the top of Long Devil's Fork Falls back at Twin Falls.  About 1/10 of a mile from Twin Falls, there is a trail going from the creek level trail to the upper trail on the shelf.  This trail branch is at GPS(35.80555, -92.96223)

Boomer, Bethany, and Richland Falls
Richland Falls
Richland Falls was beautiful.  The falls spans the entire creek, and I have often wondered why it seems there is so much more water going over the falls than what you see in Richland Creek.  One of those Ozark mysteries, I guess.  Boomer had a great time swimming in the pool below the falls, and even went diving for rocks I threw in.  He could only come back up with a stick, but hey - he's a dog, not a rocket surgeon.  He seemed to enjoy the icy water.  I'm not sure if he was hot from hiking the miles of rough terrain, or just crazy.  Or both.  He was raised by us, after all.

Heading back from Twin Falls, we went straight up the rock scramble to the top of the bluff line.  It's only about a 400 foot climb but seemed like a lot more, maybe because we were starting to get pretty worn out by that time.  It had been a long fun day of hiking by the time we had headed back. 

Boomer Falls
We crossed Devon Falls creek and stopped for a while to let Boomer chase minnows in the creek.  I think he had a fun day as well.  We had some daylight left, so we made a quick side trip to see a couple of other small falls.  At 1.5 miles from Hill Cemetery, there is a branch trail over to the creek.  There is a couple of small waterfalls, pretty but no match size-wise for the others on this creek.  I guess you could call these the first 'twin' falls in this watershed.  That's the falls in the photo at right with my favorite photo bomber, or photo 'Boomer'.  So that's why these previously un-named falls will be Boomer's Falls.  All in all, a great day, with a total track distance of almost nine miles in a little less than eight hours.  And as always, by the time we got back I couldn't wait to go visit Twin Falls again.  I'm scoping out a new route along the ridge from the forest service road.  Maybe next trip will be a trail blazing effort.