Hidden Lakes Road
We've always been big fans of exploring, so we like to check out trails we haven't seen before. We finished a great time on Sawmill Creek and we were planning on using Hidden Lakes Road to make a big loop back up to Buffalo Pass. But first we were going to see how far Hidden Lakes Road went to the south. How close would we get to Rabbit Ears Peak? We were going to find out.
After the bumpy fun climbing up and down the Sawmill Creek trail, Hidden Lakes Road was a huge contrast. The road was smooth, wide in most spots, and very well maintained. It wove through the trees and most of the time there were no views. It was kind of mellow and a bit boring but it must go somewhere, right?
Wrong -- it just ended. In fact, someone was using the end of the trail as a campsite. So we basically turned around right next to someone's tent. It was a little odd. We found a couple vehicles parked next to a gated spur and we assumed they were hiking. It could get them closer to Rabbit Ears Peak but there was no marked hiking trail. It was a better spot to turn around, though, so we'd use that next time instead of the dead end.
We turned around and headed back, stopping once at a drained lake that used to be Bear Park Reservoir. It was weird seeing cows grazing in the old reservoir. Still, it made for a scenic and soggy valley.
We continued north and saw on the topo maps that the Hidden Lakes were just off of the road. We couldn't see them from the road, though. We skipped going into the campground, opting to take the spur to Stambaugh Reservoir instead. It was a good choice.
The little spur to the reservoir was much rougher than the main trail, but it added some fun. There were a lot of cars parked next to the reservoir so we parked in a campsite farther up from the water next to a car filled with barking dogs, and then we walked down to the water. It was really nice, and we enjoyed the scenery. It was out in the hot sun, though, and even though it was lunch time we decided to go back up next to the Jeeps and eat in the shade.
It was a really nice lunch, even though we were surrounded by people. The last trail meal of a wheeling trip is always a nice one.
We enjoyed the break from driving but we eventually headed back up to the trail. We noted how many spurs were gated, and it was a bummer. Once we got up to Buffalo Pass we turned right and headed out. That was a really great loop!