We were in Tincup and it was lightly snowing. We discussed heading up to Cottonwood Pass via Cumberland Pass, but a new trail was in our sights. It looked like Carbonate Hill was going to be mellow, so we headed out the south end of town to check it out.
The beginning of the trail was very scenic, with big beaver bogs to the left of the trail. It was snowing, but it didn't look like it was sticking. Then we headed into the trees and started climbing, and found fresh snow on the trail. It was about an inch or two of snow in places, and the mud underneath it wasn't too slick. We pressed on.
We were surprised to find a steep descent in front of us. After briefly weighing our options we decided to go down it slowly and carefully. It was a little dicey in spots, and some of us slid a bit, but no one got into any trouble. We talked at the bottom and realized it would most likely have been impossible or at least a lot of work to climb it had we been going in the other direction. We got lucky.
The section of tight trees was weird, but there was no snow on the trail at that point. The trail was wet, but the mud was still not very slick. We all took it slowly and no one came into contact with any of the trees.
We passed by the cabin and found a decorated Christmas tree inside. Coupled with the snow, we really felt like winter was upon us.
The trail mellowed out as it opened into Union Park. We came to a big puddle in the open area, and we all took it pretty slowly. The thought of an unhappy and waterlogged engine in the middle of a cold and snowy field didn't sound like fun, so no one played with it.
We got to the Union Park trail and discussed our options. We didn't want to go straight up to the reservoir just yet, but we didn't want to get farther into the park and the mud. It was getting deep and slippery on the usually easy trail. After some consideration, we headed off to check out Union Canyon.