Also my second 10,000ft peak in 2 days! (it helps when you start each hike at 9,000ft, but who's telling?)
I was camping at a dispersed spot north of Soldier Creek CG, and on the east side of the Swift Hwy. Looking at my maps and GPS, I figured I could just trailblaze uphill a bit until I intersected the closed forest road which accesses Webb Peak. This would be easy because I could just leave everything at camp and not have to find my way to a trailhead. So, at 9:30 in the morning, I left camp heading due north, knowing that I should intersect the road in less than 3/10ths of a mile.
Unfortunately, trailblazing was very difficult, going through a burn area with numerous downed trees and thick new aspen growth to about 10 feet. I held my gps in front of me to try to keep in going the correct direction. If I had to cross terrain like this for any distance, it would have been very easy to go in circles and not know it. I was not particularly happy with my decision to choose the "easy" route.
Luckily, arrived at old road after only 2/10 mile (though I didn't see it until I was less than 50 feet away!)
Continued on up the road. A steady climb that was mostly shaded at 9:30am. Not a particularly exciting hike, but that's what you get hiking on a road.
Arrived at turnoff for Chelsey Flat Trail, with sign
indicating it was closed. It appeared to be through a burn area. I checked the next day at the visitor center and was not able to get a confirmation whether Chelsey Trail is still closed or if the sign has just not been taken down yet. You may want to check with a ranger on that before hiking Chelsey Flat to Webb peak.
The peak and fire tower were just up the road
from the trail junction. My total hike was only 1.1 miles.
The fire lookout
appeared abandoned, but a folding chair remained at the top. I opened the windows and relaxed for a few minutes while taking some pictures.
Not wanting to have to find my camp via GPS again, I headed down via the Webb Peak trail
to Columbine Corral. This was a very scenic and picturesque trail through mostly old growth forest. Very shaded
and easy trail. There is one spot where it runs along the edge
of a burn area. It looks like the firefighters used the trail as a base for building a fire line.
Just below the peak after 2-3 switchbacks, the trail
forks to the left for Ashley Creek Trail or right to the Columbine Corral. I stayed right.
It was a very short mile (my GPS registered only 0.6, but was probably off due to some switchbacks in heavy canopy, and when it has to "fill in the blanks" it probably cut off a bit) down to the corral, but was a scenic
hike and one that I wish I had used for the ascent as well.
Of course, the corral wasn't my camp, so I hiked the road back to Soldier Creek, and was surprised at how short a distance it was.
All in all, a great 90 minute morning hike before heading back to the oppressive heat of the desert 7000 feet below me.