Despite morning temperatures in the 20ºFs ( 😯 ), it proved possible to lure The LovedOne from under the down comforter and on to a trail. Continuing what has become an exploration of the trails in the Upper Applegate Valley (several of which will have to be re-explored once the wildflowers emerge), today we chose the Collings Mountain Trail (USFS #943) on the west side of Applegate Reservoir and made a loop by adding the Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Trail (USFS #940) that parallels the lake.
The northern TH for Trail #943 and that for Trail #940 come together near the Hart-Tish Park recreation site. From there, Trail #940 runs easily along the shore of the lake (or where the shore will be if we get a good Spring fill this year) through pleasant forests to the Watkins Campground.
The southern trailhead for the #943 is across the road from Watkins. From there it climbs gradually up through mostly forest,
with only occasional views.
Past the summit (no views), the trail ambles along the ridge through more forest,
before heading steeply down the Grouse Creek drainage back to the northern trailhead. The highlight of this hike was a visit to the famous (locally at least) Big Foot Trap, which was built – very sturdily – in the early 70s. Our initial thought was that if Big Foot was fearsome enough to warrant a trap sufficient to hold an angry rhinoceros, then we’d lock ourselves in the “trap” and wait for Big Foot to go away!
This is a good, fun hike (10 mile loop; 1,700 feet of elevation gain) – particularly for a summer day since it’s mostly in the shade – but not one with the views to be had from those on the east side of the lake. But the trap is worth a visit!