How have we not known about this trail until now? We've been on Chinaman Gulch so many times, and we didn't know there was another fun trail right next door. Better late than never! This trail should always be combined with Chinaman Gulch, in our opinion. It's short, but it's sweet.
We did the beginning of Bald Mountain Gulch and then headed up the hill on Bald Mountain Loop. The trail would go around the mountain with a short spur to the top, and we weren't sure what to expect. Right from the start, it was a great climb on loose rocks and dirt. In some spots, it even got pretty narrow and tippy. We were enjoying the climb in the sunshine.
When we got to the intersection we decided that the side with the switchbacks would be the most fun uphill so we kept straight on the trail to do the loop in the counterclockwise direction. That ended up being a good guess. The switchbacks on the way up were a blast.
When we got to the really tight switchback we drove right by it to the switchback turnaround. For a minute, we thought the trail had ended. But then we realized it was just a wide and flat spot to turn around in order to make the switchback easier and safer. Either way, the views were nice and we enjoyed the little stop.
One of the final switchbacks on the way up even had some good-sized rocks in it. It was a fun climb all the way to the end. Then we took the spur that went to the top of the mountain where we parked for pictures.
It was really, really windy and much cooler. Julie got out for a bit to take pictures, but the rest of us took our photos from our Jeeps. The scenery was very impressive. The only bad thing about Chinaman Gulch is that you rarely get above the trees to see the scenery, so it was nice to have it here on top of the mountain.
The trek down was pretty straightforward. We saw an old track make an illegal trip down from the top, but luckily it was closed with a carsonite sign at the bottom. They probably needed to fence it off, though, on both ends. It didn't look like the bald hill would recover any time soon, either way.
Going downhill, the track was very straight and steep. It was straight right up until when we met the main trail again. We were glad we did the loop in the direction we did.
When we were almost out we all commented about how lucky we were not to meet other vehicles on the trail. In most places, it would even be difficult to pass a dirt bike. It was definitely narrow. But it was definitely fun!