Sunday, August 30, 2015

A favorite trail

Saturday, six of us took our annual 4-wheeler ride.  This year we headed toward Dubois, and going up East Fork, we unloaded near the base of Indian Ridge.  I could probably say that riding up Indian Ridge is my favorite.  Dave and Linda had not been on this trail, so it was new to them, and it had been several years since Brett, Marlene, and Julie had been up here.  Somehow I've been lucky enough to take this ride at least once a year for some time.

One reason it's my favorite is because it's one of the few places one can see Gannett Peak (highest peak in Wyoming) without having to hike into the back country, wilderness area.  In the picture above you can barely see the peak (a glacier covers the left side) right in the middle of the horizon, but it's there.  It appeared, of course, much more distinct with the eye.  Thank goodness the southwest winds had blown the smoke to the north, and we had great views.  It was also a very warm day, even at this altitude, probably close to 9,000 ft.

Brett points out some familiar spots to Julie.

Once we got up high enough on the ridge, we stopped and looked at the river below, Wiggins, and the panoramic views of the peaks in the Wind Rivers and Absarokas.

Another reason this is my favorite spot is because one can see the Grand Tetons from the highest vantage points if it is a clear day.  However, clouds were hanging over the ranges to the west, and we did not get a glimpse of the peaks today.

A third reason this ride ranks as a favorite is because a nice area at the end of the trail is perfect for stopping for a lunch break.  At this spot a line shack and an outhouse make the picturesque spot just about perfect. 

In all the years we've come up here, we've never seen anybody at the cabin...but today we met Andrew.  On horseback, he and his dog had been moving cattle, but today we was going to be riding  down to Double Cabin and going into Dubois...said he was anxious to get a shower and a meal that was not out of a can.  Oh, and he was going to be happy to not share a cabin with mice tonight.  Originally from Pennsylvania, he was lured out to WY to fly-fish, and now he's become a ranch hand, watching and moving cattle in the high country for the summer.  That's him, trailing two horses in the picture above.

And then we saw a few more folks on horseback come up the draw below us.  We'd never seen so much action at the cabin!

On the way back down the ridge, I suddenly noticed that the others had stopped for some reason, so I stopped and waited to see if they would be coming, or if I needed to turn around the check out the situation.  While I was waiting, I took a picture of the trail behind, the trail ahead, and the view off to my left (northwest). 

It turns out that Marlene spotted some BigHorn Sheep.  I guess it was pretty cool; a couple rams were even butting heads.  Just as I had decided I should turn around and go back up the hill to investigate, they popped over the hill.  From there, we just kept moving down the trail at a pretty steady pace.  We had a beautiful day for a great ride.  We all remarked that we forget how beautiful this ride is, so we have to keep coming back!


  1. Wow! What a beautiful day you had! I love living "out west" through your pictures.

  2. We love the Tetons also! Sounds like a fun ride. Enjoyed your photos!

  3. I'm glad you had a good ride on such a pretty day.

  4. Beautiful area! Glad you got to spend some time in God's country!

  5. I really want to try this. Is it hard on your back?