Hike #1 of 2 today as we traveled to Prescott for a second week in a row to beat the heat in the valley. This loop is a real winner. We had looked at photos online and decided to give it a go but it turned out to be a "sleeper". First car at the trail head a little after 6 am. We went CCW to hike what was said to be the more exposed western side of the loop first. Figured being in the sun while it was 15 degrees cooler might help. There was plenty of shade so either direction of travel would have been fine. This is one of those short trails that is so nice you would likely never tire of hiking it on a regular basis.
We took our time as there was much to gawk at having never been on this trail. Heading north on the eastern leg we crisscrossed a stream bed about 20 times. Occasional trickles of water could be heard. Each time the temps would noticeably drop and we would receive a nice breeze. A little bit of heaven compared to the valley. About a mile from the trail head we stopped to check out the petroglyphs we heard were here. Shortly thereafter we came across a rabble of Swallowtail Butterflies. They were very large in size and were coasting about like birds. Quite the sight. We would see more later on during our second hike of the day.
Bottom line...great little hike away from the crowds of nearby Lynx Lake. I liken this trail as similar to Smith Ravine #297 but without all the exertion! I guess ravines are just tougher than gulches. The only man made noise we heard during the hike was at the very start...a prospector shaking dirt in his pan. It took a minute to figure that one out!
Early morning hike. Did an in and out. Had the sun in my face the entire hike up, and had cloud covered shade on the hike down. Trail was pretty nice though a little rocky/slippery at times. Went skiing a couple times even though I was trying to be careful. Saw 2 doe near the Salida/ Prospector juncture. Quite a few trails in this area that I am going to need to explore, most of which are multi-use trails. Though there was a signed unnamed single track trail that split off from this trail.
average hiking speed 2.32 mph
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.