The Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for this area of the White River National Forest showed that the Eagles Nest trail ended at the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. Other maps (even recent ones) showed that it went through to Chimney Rock, a feature on the Piney Ridge. We were hoping it went through, and we went to go check it out. We didn't get lucky this time.
We already did the first part of the Eagles Nest trail after finishing Elliott Ridge, so we actually did that part twice, in both directions. The trail got even more fun after we crossed into Eagle County. We headed downhill, and it was steep and fun. We saw groups of ATVs on the way, and everyone was obviously enjoying themselves. It was a great descent, and it would be even more fun on the way up. We'll remember that for our next time there.
When we got to the overlook it was lunch time, so we stopped. We got out the camp chairs and sat down to enjoy our meals while looking across the valley at Piney Ridge. We watched a big storm cloud hit the ridge and come right at us. It was only minutes before we were packing up our stuff and climbing back into our Jeeps. Unfortunately, we had to eat lunch in our vehicles while it poured rain.
There is still a bit of downhill trail after the overlook, and much of it is next to a big drop-off. The rain made everything muddy, and it was a thick and sticky mud. It dried really quickly, though, and we made our way down the switchbacks without too much trouble. When we got to the connector road we kept going, still hoping to drive to Chimney Rock.
The trail was muddy and fun, and we didn't see anyone after we left the connector road. Apparently not many people take this trail all the way to the wilderness area. It was scenic and there were some fun, rocky spots along the way so we enjoyed it.
The trail was on the ridge above Sheephorn Creek, and we hoped to continue following a trail around to the other side. But then the trail ended at a kiosk and the border with the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. We stopped to walk along the hiking trail a short distance, and it was definitely scenic.
The recent rain and all of the creeks and ponds in the area meant there were lots and lots of mosquitoes. There was no one camping in the big, buggy camping spots, and that wasn't surprising. We only hung out for a little bit before continuing back the way we came.
This time, we took the connector road and ended up at the kiosk on the Sheephorn Creek trail. We had options here, so we took a minute to figure out what to do. The big loop of the Sheephorn Creek trail looked inviting but it looked easy. Piney Ridge looked like more fun. We voted for fun, so we turned south to check out the ridge trail.
Eagles Nest was a good and scenic trail, but we weren't sure we'd do the final spur to the wilderness area again unless we had hiking plans. It was good to see it and explore, though, so the day was a good one. We passed near Slough Grass Lake and got to the trailhead for Piney Ridge quickly, and our day continued.