We ran this trail on a Tuesday and pretty much had the trail to ourselves. We planned very well with multiple coordinates mapped in the GPS but we still got lost. Still, it's fun being lost on Pickle Gulch.
It started out just fine until we got to the mine near the bottom of the Gulch. It's where you reach the fork in the road and you can either go left to get to the top of the mine in a few yards or go right to get to the bottom of the mine and the rest of the trail. There is a straight-up hill of loose dirt and rocks that connects the top and bottom that is very difficult to climb.
Mike tried a couple of times and finally gave it enough of a running start to make it successfully to the top of the hill. Everyone cheered. Then he promptly drove straight into a big hole and everyone stopped cheering. He had put his front passenger tire into a big, rectangular hole from the mining operations. He just missed putting both tires in the hole, which would have been really bad! We managed to stack enough rocks under the Hi-Lifted Jeep to set it down again on a surface of rocks. Mike put it in 2 wheel drive and slowly backed out. The only damage he got were some dents made by the Hi-Lift. I guess it pays to watch where you're going!
We continued on and made one wrong turn and it messed up all of our plans. We ended up on a trail that fizzled out to barely anything, taking us through tight turns in the trees and barely-used meadow tracks. It was really cool! We went by a round white and turquoise trailer and that's when we should have turned around.
We didn't turn around, we kept following the trail. It took us down very quickly until we were on a trail that looked like it hadn't been used in years. We took it west for a bit and came to a dead end (though it looked like it might have continued at one time, a long time ago). We took it east for a short while and it dead-ended. Yes, a trail with dead ends on both ends.
So we had to backtrack a little bit.
When we came to the major crossroads we took another route and came out on Apex Village Road north of the town of Apex.
It was a long trip of dead ends and backtracking but it was fun!
Reports from Other Days: 3
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Pickle Gulch. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.