Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
This is a somewhat technical trail with lots of rocks and roots to enjoy. Also, there are some big cliffs that are very near the trail in places. Please take care near the edges of cliffs. Some are 200 feet high.
At the end of the ridge, there are two sets of stairs to get you down to the saddle between the main ridge and Courthouse Rock. This is where the Courthouse Rock Trail begins.
From the parking lot, the trail begins to lose elevation and is technical right out of the gate. At the first left bend, you can look out right and see part of the ridge where you'll be running.
After the initial rooty section, the trail mellows and you get a nice reprieve before tackling a knob-like hill which has some technical sections. After crossing a shallow saddle, there is another rock ledge to negotiate, and then you can settle into...nope, nevermind, just keep churning up and down the rollers as the ridge goes on and on.
Two-thirds of the way out you'll come across an open area on the left. It's worth the quick detour to check out the incredible views of Haystack Rock (well left) the mouth of Indian Creek below, and Courthouse Rock to the right at the end of the ridge.
Once back on the trail you'll cross a narrow bare sandstone area before climbing another broad knob and finally hitting the narrowing end of the ridge before the steep stair descent to the gap.
This trail is worth the trip!
Out-and-back is nice or you can combine this with the Courthouse Rock Trail #202
or the Auxier Branch Trail and Tunnel Ridge Road for two different loop options of similar distance.