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Groundhog Stock Drive Trail #634 - 1 member in 1 triplog has rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 16 2015
nonot
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 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 1,969
 Triplogs 476

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Cross Mountain Trail #637West, CO
West, CO
Backpack avatar Sep 16 2015
nonot
Backpack44.00 Miles 8,500 AEG
Backpack44.00 Miles4 Days         
8,500 ft AEG38 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Backpacking in the Lizard Peak Wilderness. Steep and tough trails, but with amazing views.

Day 1: Up Cross Mountain Trail, to Lizard Head trail, and down Bilk Creek trail and along Wilson Mesa. 16 miles. Bilk Creek trail is amazing and probably was the best part of the entire trip. Wilson Mesa is extremely mucky due to allowing motorcycles during the summer, which tear it up.

Day 2: Climb to Rock of Ages TH, then up Rock of Ages to Elk Ridge trail and onto Navajo Lake. I had high hopes for this day, but the people who routed the Elk Ridge trail should be shot. The trail adds a ton of unnecessary elevation for what would otherwise be a nice trail along the treeline. Navajo lake is nice but it gets very cold as the sun sets and the cold air tries to leave the basin.

Day 3: Climbed Wilson Peak, met several people who almost died sliding off the mountain on snow. With being really close the the peak, so that I could probably hit it with a rock, encountered an icy patch, and turned around about 100 yards from the true summit, the trail routing to Wilson Peak is a complete disaster, for being a popular 14K'er.

Day 4: Down Navajo Lake Trail and Kilpacker and Groundhog Stock trail back to the vehicle.

This is a decent loop that packs a lot of elevation. The horrible trail routing makes the trails way too steep, you can observe many places where people and horses are sliding/falling and probably horses are breaking their legs. It seems that the goal of the wilderness trail routers is to ensure every uphill section is at least 30% grade, especially when it is scree on hardpack. Why bother creating an extra switchback when you can simply discourage anyone from travelling the trail in the first place.

Except for Wilson Mesa, which is muddy and depressing, the wilderness is very nice and even dayhikers should find many of these trails accessible from nearby trailheads.
Named place
Named place
Lizard Head Wilson Peak
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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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.

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