Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mill B North Fork Trail

The North Fork Trail doesn't really lead to any cool lakes, but it certainly is a beautiful trail.

This trail can be a bit challenging to find and to be honest, at first I found myself scrambling over boulders and hanging onto mountain walls.  I had missed the trail as it briefly turns west and instead went east.  If you go that way and find yourself surrounded by rock climbers -- go the other way.  I was disappointed that this wasn't marked better as I was about to give up on this trail.  Luckily I did get some assistance from the rock climbers who quickly got me in the right direction.

The first part of the trail hugs a creek that feeds the Hidden Falls.  For the first half mile, you'll hear the cascading waters and be surrounded by a pine shrouded trail.  I would argue that at least the first 1.5 miles or would make this a great running trail.  It is still challenging but the amount of slipping / falling is pretty limited.

This trail is also pretty well populated.  I wound up running into at least a dozen other hikers -- not bad for the off season.  I also didn't detect any wildlife other than what looked like a wild turkey and I am thinking that this isn't a "moose friendly" trail.  But I could be wrong.

The trail is steadily climbs and I found my heart rate climbing.  I wore shorts today, due to the unseasonably warm weather and I was still drenched in sweat by the time I reached mile 1 (I also got a wicked sunburn).  I was easily hitting 18 minute miles, which again is another good sign of my fitness.

This trail has a lot of switchbacks and eventually it does hug some cliffs.  While I never did feel unsafe, one false step could lead you tumbling down a ravine.  At this point, I would recommend NOT running.  However, the views from the cliffs and the higher-up sections were priceless.

I wound up taking the trail for 2.5 miles and at that point it was rapidly climbing.  If I wanted to see Mount Raymond I could've followed it, but the trail was snowy and probably muddy.  I also was tired and was worried about over extending myself with the marathon in close view.  I also wore shorts and my legs were getting cut up by the not so friendly brush that whipped at my shins with every step.  I also didn't bring a lot of water as I expected doing a mile or two hike at most.

I'd love to finish this trail, but I think I got the gist of it.  It eventually leads to the Lake Desolation trail, one of which I've already done before so even if I had made it to the top I don't think there would've been anything else I haven't seen.  I do like this trail as it offered a variety of views and while technically challenging at times, the elevation / climbing wasn't that intense.  I do recommend bringing a walking stick or ski poles though.

Big Cottonwood Famous "S" Curve

Rock Climber

Creek that Feeds the Hidden Falls

Pine tree shaded trail

View of the Northern Facing Mountains

Climbing on the Mill Creek B North Trail

View of the canyon mouth

About where I turned around.

Mill B Fork Trail Map And Info Sign

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