“A shady trail through forests and meadows with views of limestone formations and an ephemeral stream”
— Tomsen Reed
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
During the summer, lots of cattle ranchers keep their cows up this trail, so the trail can get churned up from the cattle traffic, especially up higher. You just need to pay attention or, use this trail in the winter or spring when the cows haven't been moved yet.
From the parking pullout, cross the road and the trail should be easily visible (although not signed). The trail starts to ascend immediately, but after a short hill the trail levels out and drops gradually down into the Blind Hollow drainage.
From here the trail follows the drainage up to the north and crosses the (usually dry) creek several times. In the spring, the creek if full with the snow melt runoff, and it's a really pretty creek when it's running. Be aware, it can make things pretty muddy on the trail when water is there.
The Blind Hollow drainage is interesting in that one side (the west, or left as you're going up) is always very steep while the other side (east) is usually a pretty gradual slope. The western side is also very rocky in places and has some really cool rock formations that are clearly visible from the trail as you ascend.
After about 2 miles from the trailhead, there is a split in the trail that goes off to the left. This path goes up to an interesting area with a few karst sinks and a few caves as well most of which are a good distance away from the trail. If you're not a caver, pass by this split, and continue on as the trail passes through a large meadow with more interesting rock formations to the left, following the drainage up towards its head.
After a little bit less than another mile, the trail starts to curve to the west and soon reaches another junction with a trail that goes up to Hansen Pond, and if you go even farther, Tony Grove Lake. After passing this junction, the trail continues to pass in and out of beautiful conifer and aspen forests.
Eventually, the trail passes close by the Blind Hollow Yurt which is usually used in the winter by backcountry skiers or snowboarders and then soon after that the trail ends at the ridge that marks the boundary between Cottonwood Canyon and Blind Hollow. From this ridge, you can get beautiful views of Cottonwood Canyon, Mount Elmer, and the surrounding areas.
Flora & Fauna
There are grouse, moose, and all kinds of wildlife that frequent this area, you just need to be lucky enough to see one.