Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Ride on Boulder Top

A rather hot spell was followed by a stormy spell up on the mountains but finally on Saturday it looked like the clouds were not going to gather over Boulder Top, well not the black storm clouds


I think I'll head up there (this is the southern view from my house)


I turned off UT24 just through the gap between Torrey and Bicknell and immediately noticed a sign for an access road to the Great Western Trail, I thought maybe I would find a track leading to the Boulder Top access road.

The trail started to climb the spur of Boulder Mountain that forms the southern side of the gap with good views of Bicknell Bottoms


Over the top of the spur was a downhill in some deep fine sand, I careened down it and at the bottom decided it was obvious that the trail was going in the wrong direction, then I tried to get back up the slope. No chance, the knobs on my rear tyre are really worn down but I think I would have needed paddles to get up there. I hit it at about 25mph but barely made it 15 yards up the hill before the rear wheel was buried. The tough part was up in the dark patch, all the tracks are mine. In the end I hauled the bike around and set off to find a way out in the other direction,it wasn't far before a track led back to 24.


Back on the right track I had good views of Thousand Lake Mountain where I had been the day before in the truck



The road rises up through the juniper into the aspen, where there are more open areas of aspen the forest floor is covered with flowers, lupin, indian paintbrush and in the shadows wild roses.



Up on top I took a side trip to Raft Lake

Quite a contrast from last September
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Road 178 crosses the Top diagonally through the small forests that dot the area

I had intended to ride to Rim Lake then hike around it for a while but I forgot which road it was on so never got there, pretty soon the clouds started to look a bit threatening so I backtracked to Bess Lake.

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The Boulders of Bess Lake

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There were all sorts of great flowers in the area, these few were all alone though.

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I left the CRF at a camp spot and headed up a little higher, this place was infested with mosquitoes!

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As I started to walk it began to rain and then suddenly hail, only small soft stones fortunately, I took refuge in some trees with the mozzies.

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The hail didn't last long, the trees in more open areas grow low to the ground.

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Looking across the lake to the bike

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By the time I got back to the bike it was looking very black again so I set off back across the trail to the main track

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Noon Lake - guess that's what time they got there.

There was some thunder but I managed to get off the top without getting soaked, about half way down I came across this sign

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Hmm, that looks like it needs to be explored

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The GWT followed the contour of the mountain past the Aquarius Forest Service station, it was getting hot by now, the CRF and I were glad of the occasional dip

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The GWT is an ATV trail, it kept fairly level round the mountain darting in and out of the trees

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and through lots of small streams

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which had lots of delicate litle flowers growing around them

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In places it was quite open with steep drops off the side

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Finally round the corner Thousand Lake Mountain came into view

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The track was quite narrow and rocky in places

Right after this I came across a sign I was happy to see - Rocky Unstable Trail Ahead - it was facing the other way! Soon after that the ATV track met a good dirt road which led down into Teasdale and it was an easy run home. Excellent afternoon's ride, 83 miles in total.
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My ride is in red.
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