Monday, July 5, 2010

Sheep Herders Canyon & Skyline Drive 7-5-10

On Monday July 5th I meet up with a number of members from the Utah FJ Cruiser club and a member from the Wasatch Cruisers too run Sheep Herders Canyon. Sheep Herders Canon (that's what I've been told it's called)is that last little stretch of Skyline Drive here in Davis Country here in Utah.

The trail in and of it self really isn't all that difficult and can be run in a stock 4-wheel drive vehicle . It ultimately ends up in a clearing with access to a hiking/mountain biking/horse trail and to a ATV/dirt bike trail. The later of which I'll hike at another time.

The attraction to this trail is the great views of Davis and Morgan Countries that are divided by the mountain range. We had stop at few locations along to the way to let those with kids play in the wildflowers and to take in the mountain air and views. Are lunch stop would take us down into the clearing and into the shade of the evergreens.

Once everyone had their fell at lunch, we headed back on out to run the remainder of Skyline Drive between Bountiful and Farmington and then on up to Francis Peak. Along, the way two members or group peeled off to head home to take care of family matters. The rest of the group made a brief stop up at Francis Peak before continuing north with the hopes of hitting up once of the retention ponds toward s the end of the trail.

Along the way we were greeted by snow pack roads (ya, snow on the roads in July but what do you expect at 9000 ft). The first of which required you to hug the snow patch as half the road was still under snow. This section added to pucker factor of the trail due to the fact the slick snow would kick the rear of your vehicle towards the edge of road (which in turn you would've rolled down a nice little cliff).

Once we all got our nerve back a little we headed down on the trail towards the pond. Unfortunately, we were denied at the last section of the trail. As three-quarters of the trail was still under snow with just enough clearance for an ATV without driving half way on the snow pack. Again, with a ledge on the opposite side of the trail, not to mention the three point turn that is required right before heading down.

So after some discussion we decided that it was far enough and that we should turn back (well kind of). I wasn't about to lead anyone down a trail I wasn't comfortable with. So how do you turn back on a single track road with a mountain on one side, a ledge on another and the road blocked ahead. Well, you back up of course. This in of it self was no easy task especially with the number of vehicles we had but it was accomplished.

After these little fail attempted we all decided to call it a day we had been on the trail since about 1015 am and 4pm was fast approaching. Once past the pucker factor spot the group split up and everyone went their separate ways (kind of most stayed in the group). I ended up staying behind and just poking around taking some photo's off an overlook.

Despite being denied at the end of trail it was a great day with great group of people.

Now on too the photo's if you've made it past my rambling.

The lone 4runner amongst so many Cruisers:

Pit stop for the kiddies:

Down to Sheep Herders Canyon

I took this photo a few days prior to run towards dusk, just beyond the trail it leeds down to the said clearing and trail.

Headin back out on Skyline Drive towards Farmington:

Up at Francis Peak

The trail that rides along the east side of globes reminds me a little bit of the trails in Ouray. Narrow with a drop off to one side.

This was the spot that had some pucker factor to it. The photo's don't do it any justice.

This is what we were trying to reach

Trail blocked, time to backup

The group heading out

Ended up sticking around and taking some photo's

Same photo just didn't use as many photo's were I created the panoramic.

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