A lot of the trails in the Left Hand Canyon network had changed since we were there last so it was time to re-map the whole thing. We planned on weaving our way through Left Hand Canyon, Fireman Hill and Castle Gulch before the day was out, hitting all of the trails we found on the Motor Vehicle Use Map. We were a big group and we aired down at the trailhead where we could find the room.
We started the trail and soon parked at the intersection with the old Carnage Canyon trail. It's closed now, and just inside the posts and cable were a bunch of shooters. There were lots of empty shells underfoot as we walked a little way in.
It was nice to see that the land reclaims a trail so quickly, because the old trail was very overgrown. You couldn't even tell it used to be a road. We hiked up the hill on a new hiking trail for a little bit but then we were itching to get back to wheeling so we headed back. It was a bit of a bummer to see Carnage gone forever.
Our plan was to run up Big Momma Hill and then down the Old Playground. Big Momma Hill now has only one path to the top marked with posts and cable. Another bummer, but it is what it is. Still, we had a blast on the challenging hill.
Monica almost made it through all of the obstacles on the hill but she got high centered on the last one. Jim helped her get her winch going and she pulled herself through it. Steve would need a bit of winching help here and there too, but everyone else made it through under their own power. Big Momma Hill proved to be the most challenging part of the day, and we had a great time.
When we got to the top of the Old Playground it was a bummer to find that we couldn't drive over the rocks to continue up the hill anymore. That was always a nice obstacle, but it looks like it's permanently closed. We followed another group down the Old Playground. It had some cracks in it that could be bad if approached the wrong way but no one had any issues.
The other group got ahead of us when we stopped at Five Points for lunch. We found yet another trail closed but it was nice to see that Upper Carnage was still open. We had a nice lunch sitting in the shade of a big tree and we definitely hung out longer than we needed to. It was a gorgeous day.
After packing up our camp chairs we headed up to The Squeeze. We had heard the rumors that it had been leveled with dynamite but when we got there we found the rocks still there and still the same. Someone had cut down the tree that made it "The Squeeze" so the obstacle wasn't really risky anymore. Everyone drove right up it without any problems at all, which was definitely a change.
We soon found ourselves at the Upper Kiosk and we did both Castle Gulch and Fireman Hill. After those two trails we did Upper Carnage. That ended up being a lot of fun for a few people, especially Katie who found the rocky wash to be quite challenging. We were all smiles when we got back to the main trail just south of The Squeeze.
We turned downhill and went past Five Points again, this time taking the main trail back out. When we got to the trailhead we split the group in half, with half of us heading for the Nugget Hill trail (we didn't finish it because we ran out of daylight) and the other half heading for home. The later bunch went out for burgers in Boulder and it was a fantastic end to a fabulous day.
Reports from Other Days: 8
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Left Hand Canyon. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.