After Bob's posting about the trail logs, I was looking through some of my old hiking books from the Lowe's, and found an interesting reference to a "Three Lynx Way Trail" heading off of the Grouse Point trail SE of where the Serene Lake trail intersects it. I had not heard about this trail before, so decided to go look at the venerable '38 map to see if I could see it, and sure enough, it shows a way trail in about the right spot heading SW:
Has anyone ever found this trail? And what trail did it connect to? It kind of looks like it would have intersected part of what is now known as the Cripple Creek trail?
I also found it interesting that the old 511 trail up the South Fork Roaring River is referenced in their hiking books, although they show it stopping not too far from where it intersected the Serene Lake trail.
Did it intersect the 4635-140 spur? Or maybe the 025 spur? Kind of looks like it followed the path of that 025 spur down to the 140 spur. The green is the Cripple Creek and Grouse Point trails, and the red is a tracing of roughly where the '38 map shows that way trail going. The '38 map is overlaid on a recent USGS topo map.
I haven't been up in that area for a few years, so I don't know if they've closed any roads up there or not.
16 - 20 years ago I followed some flagging on the trees close to and roughly parallel this route. I did not see much in the way of a trail but it may never had much tread. Blazes who knows but I do not recollect seeing any. At the time I thought the route would make a good cross-country ski trail. I eventually angled east over to the Cache Meadow Trail to head out.
After all this time who knows if any flagging remains.
There was another line of flagging in the vicinity but I figured it was for a research project and ran askew of the trail.
We used to have another maintenance access "trail" further west.
Grouse Point Trail would have been hell to take care of without them. Which is why I keep wondering when or if those roads up there will be or are wilderized like up towards Old Baldy.
It will be fine. Only fire could wreck it. Burning out the blazes. The tread is rather minor.
That area is somewhat a barren. Bear grass and piss fir. Open. No undergrowth to speak of until the rim where the rhodies start and make the impenetrable thicket for several miles to the west. Easy to get lost because it looks the same in all directions. Like in lodgepole barrens.
Yesterday I was hiking the Rock Lakes loop and decided to take a quick look at the Three Lynx way trail. I followed it about 2/3 mile until it entered a clearcut. It is easy to follow up to that point even though the tread is minimal. The tread is still visible in spite of the encroaching beargrass and small trees, and there are plenty of blazes all along the way. I didn't go far into the cut area because I still had miles to go on my hike around the lakes basin and didn't have time to spend on more exploring. I flagged the location of the trail at the upper edge of the cut area to help anyone approaching from the lower end.
The upper end of the trail at its junction with the Grouse Point trail.
For most of the route, the forest is open, with little underbrush. As Donovan noted, it looks the same in all directions.
Here is where the trail enters a cut area. The tread was not obvious beyond this point.
Overall, this upper end of the trail is in good shape, easy walking on a gentle grade in open forest. It would be interesting to know what condition it's in on the other side of the cut area.
I decided to do a little follow-up searching for this trail yesterday. I thought I might find where the trail picks up again on the south side of the clearcut which would then lead me to the T-junction with the N-S trail. What I found was a continuation of the trail beyond the clearcut, but no T-junction. This trail led to the west and to Road 4635. This trail was not on the 1938 map so it must be more recent than that. It appears to continue on past the road crossing, but I didn't follow it any farther. I did some searching for the N-S trail in the vicinity of the clearcut but did not see anything.
On the map below, the dotted red lines indicate the general location of the trail shown on the 1938 map.
South edge of the clearcut where the trail heads off to the west.
It passes through open forest for a while and then gets into heavier forest as it approaches the road.
The trail crosses the road just south of a clearcut. I hung some orange flagging on a rhodie to mark the spot.
Road 4635 is closed for now due to construction at the lower end and on the road to Harriet Lake. The sign at Ripplebrook says that it won't reopen until Nov. 1.
Thanks for posting this. I'm going out (for the first time in a while) next week, and I'm trying to decide amongst a few different explorations. When you did this, where did you start? Did you start at the Cache Meadow trailhead? Or at Frazier Turnaround? If 4635 is closed, it would seem like you couldn't get to Cache Meadow.
P.S. - see my other posting about an old trail log - an artifact from our recent visit to the FS historian.
I started from the Shellrock Lake trailhead, took the old trail over the saddle to Cache Meadow, then followed the Grouse Point trail to the junction with the abandoned trail. You can't get to the Cache Meadow trailhead right now because of the road closure. If you don't want to take the long route that I did (it was 14 miles round-trip, including some other exploring which I will describe in another post soon), maybe you could come up the Cripple Creek trail to 4635 and walk the road to the lower end of the Three Lynx trail. It's about 3/4 mile (I know, because I walked the road in the other direction yesterday so that I could make a loop back to Cache Meadow). Whichever way you go, you're going to have to do a bit of walking to get to the way trail right now. In a few months you'll be able to drive right to it, unless of course it snows.
In any case, I prefer the Shellrock Lake trailhead to driving to Frazier turnaround. I'm assuming that you know about the old route from Shellrock Lake trail over to Cache Meadow.
Lots and lots of huckleberries in that whole area right now!
I did part of your loop today and easily found the Three Lynx Way trail. Most of it is really easy to follow - the tread isn't great, but if you pay attention it is easily followed. There are a few rough spots, but you flagged them well, so they were easy to get through.
Once at the clearcut, I walked around the edge of the clearcut to see if I could see the other trail (forgot the name of it). I was looking for anything that looked like tread, blazes or cut logs and found nothing of substance, until I stumbled across the exit of this trail from the clearcut! I thought I might have found the other trail, but soon realized it was this trail. Oh well.
Once at the 4635 road, I poked around on the other side for a while to see if I could see any evidence of the trail continuing. Alas, I found none - no blazes that I could see, nothing that looked like definitive tread, and no cut logs. I very well could have missed something, but there are a couple of seasonal creeks that flow through there, and it made it tough to discern anything. About the only thing I found was an old bottle in one short section of what might be tread:
I think that was just garbage, though. I did find some old flagging, but it didn't seem to make much sense, and didn't seem like tread. After about a half hour of wandering around, I headed back up to the road to complete my loop.
While I didn't really find anything new, it was really cool to find this old trail - It was also neat to re-hike part of Cache Meadow and Grouse Point. Those really are neat trails - under appreciated I think.
The other photo I just had to post was from the Helispot overlook above Serene Lake. I love this view!
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