We decided to drive through the Round Mountain Campground to see how it was, and we realized that we'd stay there the next time we were in the area. It's right off of the highway, but still fairly remote for something with developed campsites and pit toilets. It was almost completely empty, too. It was a good find.
We went a little farther in and stopped at the kiosk to check out the map and make our plans. We found a route all the way to the end and got back in our vehicles to explore.
There were lots of closed spurs on the southern end, though it didn't look like most of them went very far anyway. Without taking any side roads, it didn't take us long to get to the big intersection with the Badger Flats trail where we had been not too long before. We cruised through it and kept heading north.
Then we found lots of spurs on both sides of the trail, heading down Badger Gulch on one side and down to the county road on the other side. There was too much to see! It's always frustrating to have to drive by trails we didn't have time to check out. It just means we'll have more to do next time.
The trail went around Boomer Mine and then it ended at Forest Service Road 896. We were shooting for the most direct north/south route, so we turned right there to head up to the La Salle Pass trailhead. When we got there, we found lots of construction equipment and torn-up spots, though the trail went through to the highway.
We knew that Highway 77 was closed in a section due to a helpful alert on the Pike National Forest website, but we weren't exactly sure where it was closed. We knew there was a possibility that we'd come out to a highway that wasn't available. When we got there, the pavement was dirt as they were still working on it. We watched two vehicles go by, heading north. Then, we saw both vehicles come back, returning south. That meant that we could head south, which was good news.
We decided to take on the dirt highway while still aired down, which turned out to be a good idea. It was pavement again by the time we got to the end of the Badger Flats trail, so we pulled back in there to air up at the nice spot for that there. We still had daylight left, which was nice.
Walt headed for home while Monica headed back to Lake George to stay another night under the stars. It was a great trip, and we still have so many more trails left to do in the area. Perfect!