Saturday, September 2nd, 2017
It was cold last night -- normal I suppose for camping somewhere north of 7,000 feet -- but it warms up quick this morning. After breakfast I'm off to hike around this city of rocks in the blistering heat.
I scramble up one of the first rock formations I come across. When I get to the top I think to myself that climbing up these things alone and without equipment is not such a good idea. I'm reminded of that guy who got his arm wedged between rocks and ended up having to cut his own arm off... I resolve to quit the rock climbing for the day.
There is plenty of water up here, despite what the ranger said: I come across two spring-fed cattle troughs and two creeks that are running. Thinking it would be all dry I left with 4 liters in my pack and I didn't bring the filter.
I follow a few trails that wind through the rocks down to the campground: North Creek Trail, Boxtop trail, Stripe Rock trail, etc... I'm mostly losing altitude (quite a bit of it) along the way.
I refill my water bottles at the campground, then I've got to hike up the road to get to the trailhead for Indian Grove. From the vantage point of the road I can see rock climbers all over the adjacent formations. This must be a big destination for them, makes sense: large granite rocks, steep faces, technically challenging I would imagine. Climbing appears to be what everyone is up to. I don't see anyone hiking on the trails.
I'm bushed when I get back to camp, 11 miles and a couple thousand feet of elevation gain in this heat is a chore. After dinner I climb up a nearby hill to get another glimpse of that beautiful sunset I saw last night.
Stats for hike (Strava data):
Miles hiked: 11.2mi
Elevation gain: 2,221 feet
Moving time: 4:21:46