25 June 2008

The Other Side of the Slate Mountain Trail, With Turn-Off

Yesterday I went up to Gibson Jack and took a turn-off at the Slate Mountain trail, then another turn-off at the Dry Creek Ridge trail. I didn't go all the way along the ridge, as it was starting to go downhill and I really didn't feel like doing too much climbing-back-up at that point, but it was quite a lovely hike, and there are some awesome views from the Ridge. Anyway, an estimate of my route (pinkish dots) is below. I'm not sure where, exactly, I turned around, but it did require some altitude gain. Below the fold are a few scenery shots.

This is the view not too long after turning off of the Gibson Jack trail onto the Slate Mountain trail. To get there, go up the motorized side (to the left; the one that crosses the stream immediately), and right around where the third switchback begins, there's a sign.

Here's the view at the turn-off for Dry Creek Ridge, looking toward the Slate Mountain side. The Dry Creek trail doesn't seem to get as much use, but it's still in pretty good shape. Incidentally, I was pretty tired on the way down, saw the turn-off back to Gibson Jack and didn't take it... Flax saved me from too much back tracking. I hadn't seen any flax on the way in, but I was seeing tons of it on my little detour. Suddenly it dawned on me that, hey, that turn-off I saw a ways back must be my turn-off to get back to Gibson Jack. I had gone less than 500 feet in the wrong direction, thankfully.

Gorgeous view not very far down the Dry Creek Ridge trail at all. On the one hand, the haze made it difficult to make out details; on the other, I love the way the back-most mountain just shades into blue. The haze may be from the California fires. There's a weather service statement warning that some of it may be in the area.

Lastly, a feather that I saw when I stopped for a picnic at a convenient rock. Oh, and my hand. And some junipers and mountains in the background. Not too long after I sat down to my picnic, a white-tail deer came bounding out of the juniper. I went to see if I could get a better look, and either a second deer bounded out or the first one had chosen different cover and bounded clear out. Either way, they/it were gone too quickly for me to get my camera out.

Now at some point I suppose I should take the Slate Mountain side of the trail...

1 comment:

james s said...

enjoyed your write up on the slate mountain trail. i live in pocatello and came across your blog after doing a google search on slate mountain trail. this has become one of favorite hikes in this area. i've hiked this 4-5 times now and many of its branch off's. by the way that 1 picture of the valley right at the start has been one of the best spots to spot moose, deer etc. there"s a cow moose and calf, with at least 2 other females and a young male hanging out there. oh well take care. have fun hiking!!!!