Sunday, October 26, 2014

Strawberry Creek, Utah

What a great place to ride! Aspen and evergreen forests, water features such as beaver ponds and streams, wide and stunning vistas.  About a 2 hour drive from Salt Lake or Ogden.  Google instructions for Daniel's summit Lodge, Highway 40 out of Heber.  Basically, it's the first left after the lodge.  State road 049 on Google.  Travel north about 7 miles until you reach a large meadow area with cattle corrals.  This is where you park.  Plenty of room.  There are many options.  It would helpful to have a guide the first time.  
Here is a link to a video:

Click on any photo for enlarged images.

Mileage for the loop=about 10.5.  Minimum altitude=8,150'; Maximum altitude=9,997'; Ascent/descent=2,625'
Trail conditions:75% dirt, 25% somewhat rocky.  We rode up Mill B ridge, then crossed over on the trail towards Current Creek Peak, then down Willow Creek draw, crossed back over the same trail, then back down Shingle Mill Hollow.  
We rode this on September 13, 2014.

This was our route on July 22, 2016.  Almost 13 miles.  We rode UP Shingle Mill Hollow, then took a ridge route towards Current Creek Peak, then down Willow Creek draw and  down Mill B ridge.  Our ascent/descent was over 2,800'.  I would still call the trails 75% dirt, 20% rocky and 5% really rocky.  My horse did it barefoot with no boots.

This is the view from a side trip we took while waiting for others to arrive, looking at the corrals and parking area.

Corrals and parking area, Photo courtesy of Monica Zoltanski

Corrals, Photo courtesy of Monica Zoltanski

Stop for a watering break at a stock tank

Heading towards a watering tank and area for a lunch break.

Dropping down into Willow Creek

You may run into cattle.

One of several beaver ponds on Willow Creek

Corrals on the Willow Creek Ditch road

Photo by Jon Tanner.  This is between Willow Creek and the Shingle Mill Hollow.

Shingle Mill Hollow

Just about back to the parking area
Photo by Monica Zoltanski, taken in late July.  Not sure which trail, but it is spectacular.

Updated photos from a July 22 ride.  Notice how much "greener" things are.
Headed UP Shingle Mill Hollow.  This is a less traveled trail. Literally TONS of deadfall and numerous stream crossings.

Shingle Mill Hollow--deadfall both in the air and on the ground.

Shingle Mill Hollow

Up on a ridge going from Shingle Mill hollow towards Current Creek Peak.  Breathtaking views of the mountains, including Timpanogas.

Nice place for a lunch stop with a spring fed watering hole.

The clouds cooperated just right to get this dramatic shot getting ready to head down Willow Creek draw from Current Creek Peak.

Looking down Willow Creek.  Strawberry Reservoir in the distance.

 Willow Creek draw

Beautiful aspen forest...

40°20'59.9"N 111°10'55.0"W

Monte Cristo--Little Grand Canyon

This is another ride in the Monte Cristo area.  Google directions to Monte Cristo campground.  Take the 2nd left after the campground onto a dirt/gravel road.  No signs. Travel about one mile to a 4 way intersection.  Turn left.  There will be some "No trespassing" signs.  Do NOT park in this area.  It is private property.  Follow the road (Warning road is bumpy.  Do not attempt when muddy.) Go for about another 3/4 mile to a large, open meadow area where you can park.  Plenty of room.  There are several ways to get to the Little Grand from here.  We opted for mostly cross country.  Our ride was on September 1, 2014.  I would STRONGLY recommend a guide.  We had guides who had been there before and even they took a "wrong" turn, taking us bushwacking through a forest. Even though we've done it once and have a map, I am not sure I would trust my trail memory of where to turn. It is gorgeous country, worth doing at least once.

Click on any photo for enlarged images.

Map showing the turn offs and parking area.
GPS track...this one was about 11.7 miles.  Minimum altitude=8,144', Maximum=8,998'.  Total ascent/descent=about 2,100'  Trail conditions:  Dirt roads and trails, about 15% rocky. 
Topo detail of the destination.  Davenport Hollow and Johnson Draw are actual names.  No where will you find "Little Grand Canyon" on a map of this area.  That's just a nickname.
Topo of our ride on September 1, 2014.  Although, this includes some scenic bushwacking, I think I would stick to the Davenport Hollow dirt road in the future.

  From the Weber County Pathways map.  It shows some road names and geographic features.

GPS track Jon Tanner (one way to do it)

  GPS coordinates for parking area: 41.2951730; 111.290250. 

Critical turn off:  41.524831, 111.498440

GPS for this shot: 41.3133160;111.3035164
Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Lunch on the overlook.

This is one view of the "Little Grand" Approximately 41.547677; 111.507634