|Lunch spot overlooking Rock Creek drainage|
Rick has one more road he wants to explore out of Bourne as an access to the Elkhorn Crest Trail from the south side: Little Cracker Creek Mining Road. Rusty Munn joins us for the day. We leave early because we have a 4pm appointment back in town!
The mining road has been torn up by heavy equipment moving up - rocky and rough going! The truck gets its workout over the 2.5 miles from Bourne, but we finally come to a stopping place, park (I wanted to close my eyes and was glad Rusty got out to direct Rick!), and walk up the road for a short few switchbacks before we found Forest Service Road 030 take off.
|Phlox and Paintbrush!|
|Goat hair, but no goats :(|
We hiked about 2 miles south of the saddle to the junction with the Pole Creek Trail, and then another half mile or so to another saddle where we could see the water of Rock Creek Lake. We had vistas to Mount Ireland, to Strawberry Mountain, to Monument Peak, down to Sumpter, Phillips Lake and the dredge trailings and the entire Rock Creek basin and Eilertson Meadows. Some of the trail was in the sparse shadow of trees, but much was on open hillsides.
|You have to love the trail sign marking the Pole Creek Ridge Trail!|