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Starting off at 9:40a, I headed up Grizzly Gulch and Wasno Ridge, utilizing a series of park roads and trails for which there seems no shortage. Every mile or so it seems one comes across one trail junction or another, sometimes within a span of a few dozen yards. This isn't a complaint, btw, just that it's helpful to be familiar with the area or have a park map to help with the navigation at the various junctions. The Tower Trail took me up to Wasno Ridge very near its highpoint along Jackson Road at 2,676ft elevation. I followed this road east up and over the highpoint (no need to even leave the road), enjoying the views to the north across the whole of the park extending in that direction for almost ten miles. Continuing east along Wasno Ridge, I dropped to lower elevations and then took the Kelly Lake Trail down to Kelly Lake some 600ft lower, nestled in Kelly Cabin Canyon. Several coots were swimming in the lake as I circled around it and continued on the trail as it lead up the hillside on the other side. I've been told the fishing is pretty good here, but since I don't care much for the sport I couldn't say from personal experience. The highpoint of this next hill was unnamed Peak 2,625ft which I deemed fit to call Kelly Peak since so many other things around here were given that moniker. Its summit is crowned by a small shack and communications tower. Climbing it up to the roof of the building provides good views over the oaks to the surrounding countryside.
From Kelly Peak, I followed the Wagon Road south past several more junctions. Burra Burra Peak is prominent to the southeast. A backcountry restroom facility is found at the junction with Wasno Road and it was here that I turned west to continue along the eastern part of the ridge I had not traveled earlier. Before reaching the junction with the Kelly Lake Trail, I turned left and dropped to the south off the ridge on the Dexter Trail. This is a fairly steep descent down a subsidiary ridgeline with nary a switchback. About halfway down the hillside it meets up with the Grizzly Gulch Trail, the most interesting trail I traveled on the day. It traverses the southern slope of the canyon, passing by several rocky features found along the way. I eventually returned to the junction with the Tower Trail I had taken almost three hours earlier, closing the loop I had made. Another mile and a half brought me back to the TH at Coyote Creek, finishing up just after 1:30p. Just under four hours for just under 13 miles, not a bad day at all. Especially since I had no citation on my car upon my return...
This page last updated: Thu Jan 30 17:37:18 2014
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