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Thread: Left Fork of Huntington Creek

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    Left Fork of Huntington Creek

    This is the sort of trip I envisioned when I bought a motorcycle last year--a thru-hike with a self-shuttle. The Left Fork of Huntington Creek National Recreation Trail was a perfect fit, with easy Jeep/motorcycle access to both ends of the trail. I began work early on Thursday morning so I'd have time after work to set up the shuttle and complete the hike/ride before dark. I planned to hike the trail uphill ('cause I needed the exercise) so I dropped off the dirt bike at the upper trailhead and drove the Jeep to the lower trailhead and began hiking at about 4PM. Temps were warmish--82 degrees--and they never seemed to let up despite the increasing elevation along the way. The Left Fork trail started out close to the creek but climbed the hillside above it and stayed high for much of the hike. A few times I descended to the creek to have a look at log jams caused by the 2012 Seeley fire and subsequent debris flows.




    Lower trailhead



    Burn area hazards



    Creekside trail



    Two-Tailed Swallowtail on Eaton's Penstemon



    Some bug on some flower



    Log jam in the creek



    Pond formed behind the log jam



    Open country above the creek



    Another log jam





    I only saw one other person on the trail--a fisherman who had hiked above the burn area but still had no luck catching anything. I stopped briefly for a dinner of Oreos and Cheez-Its. The canyon widened and the trail leveled out near where Scad Valley Creek and Miller Flat Creek joined the Left Fork. I enjoyed the views and open spaces along this upper portion of the trail. Honestly, I'd been dragging my ass since about the halfway point of the trail, but I got a second wind along the upper section and made better time as I approached the upper trailhead.




    Trail through burned pines



    Colorado Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea)



    Trail over a steep sidehill



    Left Fork of Huntington Creek



    Upper end of the canyon



    Left Fork trail sign



    Scad Valley Creek joining the Left Fork



    Left Fork of Huntington Creek



    Shrubs and grasses



    Scad Valley Trail junction



    Candland Mountain towering over a small bridge on the trail



    Cascade along Miller Flat Creek



    Trail



    Bridge over the Left Fork of Huntington Creek



    Beaver pond



    Staker Canyon



    Shadow selfie in Staker Canyon



    Trail near the upper TH





    I reached the motorcycle after about three hours and 45 minutes of hiking. The advertised trail distance is six miles but my GPS registered closer to seven, and somehow with only 900' elevation gain I was feeling beat. I traded my shade hat for a helmet and cruised up the gravel on Miller Flat Road, then down the paved Huntington Canyon road. I hadn't really considered it before the trip, but one really needs a helmet with a face shield for this type of riding! I was pelted by bugs for the entire ride--it even stung getting hit through two layers of shirts. I returned to the lower trailhead, loaded the bike, and hit the road before the sun went down, enjoying a colorful sunset during the drive home.




    Motorcycle at the upper trailhead



    Hike stats from the GPS



    Above Cleveland Reservoir



    Stuart Guard Station



    Leaving the lower TH after loading the bike





    Photo Gallery: Left Fork of Huntington Creek
    GPS Track and Photo Waypoints:
    [ Google Earth KMZ ] [ Gmap4 Satellite ] [ Gmap4 Topo ]

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