Toll Road Gulch
After a fun day of trails the day before, the group was ready for still more trail adventures. Walt had joined us Thursday evening in Salida and we enjoyed his and Georgina's company at dinner. We were soon at the familiar trailhead for Marshall Pass off of County Road 200.
This time, the parking area was filled with many OHVs and it looked like several large groups were staging to head up the trail. There were many more vehicles parked as well, indicating there were still more people already on the trails. We didn't need to worry, however, as we saw no other vehicles until we were over the summit and nearly to Bonanza.
We enjoyed the early part of the trail. It was warm and sunny, and those who could had doors off, windows out, or soft tops folded back. We enjoyed the ride and the scenery and as we got near tree line it was beautiful with alternating views to the east and then the west.
We were fortunate in that we did not meet any traffic while on the shelf road as someone could have been faced with a long stretch of driving in reverse. This is definitely a good trail to be going uphill on during this stretch! Soon after the summit, we pulled over at the first spot to get off the trail and relaxed for a while. The weather continued to be mild and we enjoyed the cooler temperatures at altitude.
After getting back on the trail, we were soon to the intersection with the Clover Creek trail. There was a large group of ATVs and UTVs here just getting ready to head down the trail toward Bonanza. We waited while they headed out and then checked out the maps at the kiosk there. The side trails looked interesting and we began to change our plans on the spot in order to follow some of the routes marked with colored ore cart symbols. We then continued down to Bonanza to complete the trail. Shortly before entering Bonanza, we noted the Exchequer town site on the left and decided to return there for our lunch break.
Bonanza wasn't much to look at, so we just turned around and headed back to Exchequer. It was a nice lunch spot, but we were all looking forward to doing more new trails, so we soon headed up Whale Hill.