Maple Canyon - Right fork

This morning I went back up the Right Fork of Maple Canyon. Today however was not a solo hike, in fact it turned out to be quite different from a solo hike.

TJ Wurth and I started the trip the same as any other trip. We cruised along at a good pace. Along the way we caught up to a large youth group. Which turned out to be a very small portion of a much larger youth group. They had 4 teams on the trail. An Advanced team, looking to clear the saddle just below the summit. A forward team, looking to make it to the lake. A moderate team, just out for fun. And a back team of people they knew would poop out early.

We passed the moderate team and kept going. The trail was incredible. All of the rain lately has everything green like Eden, and the wildflowers are out in large numbers.




About a mile down from the lake we spotted the forward team from the youth group. We caught up to them shortly and stopped to talk. Suddenly one of their young women fainted. We got her laying down in the proper position and made sure she was ok.

TJ and I headed up the trail to find their advanced team at the lake and let them know that they might need to help. Turns out they had horses up on top and so the rescue suddenly became a lot easier. Which I was very relieved about, since this trail is hard enough to get yourself down, much less someone else too.

We decided not to summit because we were now behind schedule, there was still a lot of snow up there, and mother nature was getting ready to show us who was boss.....again.

The rain ended up coming down hard enough to be running down the hillside. Making this steep rock-covered trail even more difficult to navigate.

Back down from the lake a few hundred yards we caught a glimpse of something moving in the dense foliage of the east slope. We soon realized that it was 2 day-hikers and intercepted them on the trail. The poor fellows had been given bad directions and had ended up going up Dibbles Canyon when they had meant to go up the right fork of Maple. They weren't really lost, they new essentially where they were and how to get back down, but they had been through a hard bushwhack to get from Dibbles to RF of Maple. Not something that I will be putting on my to-do list. But we had a nice hike down together.

We finally made it down, after all the drama, about 5 and a half hours after leaving. Just goes to show: be ready for the unexpected. A 3 hour trip can become 5. People can be falling down around you, you never know who or what might pop out of the woods, and mother nature can kick your trash anytime she wants.


the default setting for videos is low quality, you can click "View HQ video" for better res

Stats:
3,436 verticle gain
Ricky, Slick, and wet

Dibbles Canyon

Today was perfect for a trip to the mountains. I decided to do a solo hike up Maple canyon, then splitting off into Dibbles canyon, and hopefully making it to the saddle that drops into diamond fork.

It turned out to be the best trip yet this summer. I couldn't have asked for much more.

I actually met my pal TJ Wurth coming down the trail, he had already been out for about 2 hours and we caught each other at the trail head. He turned right around and followed me up the trail for a little over a mile, it was nice to have company for part of the trip. And then after that, I didn't see or hear another soul until i returned to the main trail.

Dibbles canyon trail starts out in a pine forest and follows a seasonal creek through the pines and into the aspens.
The wild flowers are very healthy and colorful right now. I counted at least 8 different species.


The trail opens up into a couple of incredibly beautiful meadows. I am definitely going to have to spend the night sometime.


The view as you begin to approach the saddle. The crest of the saddle sits at 7,671 feet. The peak to the left of the saddle is un-named.

Hmmm. Interesting markings about 7 feet up on this tree.


If I would have had more time, I would have stretched out under this tree....

....and fallen asleep to this view.


I can't prove it. But I am pretty certain that the path leading up to the gates of Heaven, is lined with an Aspen grove.


Dibbles Canyon Walk through

video

Stats:

Trail head: Whiting Campground - note: they are now charging a $6 day pass
Starting elevation: 5,571
Saddle crest elevation: 7,671
Total vertical gain: 2,094
Round trip miles: 6.5
Average grade: 12%

Dibble Canyon Partial Profile - GPS reception is very sketchy for the lower half of the trip