It was day four of our Escalante-based trip and the group's plan was to tour Bryce Canyon. Mike and Walt, however, decided to go off and explore some more trails. We were going to run Hell's Backbone and the Burr Trail, and Pine Creek Road was our route to Hell's Backbone so we ran it first. We said goodbye to the group at our usual meeting place and headed off to find the trail.
The road started out paved, but soon turned to gravel outside of town. The surface was smooth and well-graded and would stay that way for the whole trail. We drove through the ranchlands and were soon up into the pine forests of Dixie National Forest, where the air was decidedly cooler than in town.
When we reached the intersection where Pine Creek Road (Also called Posey Lake Road) continued north and Hell's Backbone turned east, we stopped to decide which way to go. Walt noticed that smoke was coming from under Mike's Jeep, so we tried to figure out where it was coming from. It appeared that oil from the transfer case was leaking, and some had flashed on a hot surface. The smoke soon stopped, and nothing was dripping, so we continued on to Posey Lake. There was no further trouble from the leak for the rest of the trip, so that was good!
We stopped at Posey Lake to check out the campground. It would be a great option to camp out of the heat at lower elevations, and it wasn't busy. It would be good to keep in mind for future trips.
We went up to Cyclone Lake and to the end of the trail and then turned around, stopping to read the plaque about the young mother freezing on Christmas Eve in 1939. After that we were soon back at the intersection with Hell's Backbone.