However, I'm not being entirely honest. While I do trailer out for 95+% of my rides, I DO have a "secret" little trail that I can access from home. However, I certainly do not consider it green horse friendly. Thus, while I could trot along merrily with my experienced horse Sinatra, Diego has only been hiked along portions of the trail, and I've never tried to ride him on it. But we're a one-truck family now, and I don't always want to hitch up the trailer and drive anytime I want to get out, so I've decided it's time to rediscover my little hidden gem.
Please excuse phone-quality crappy pictures.
From my house, I walk down the road past the neighbors and then catch a gravel easement road that runs a couple of blocks up to the main street in and out of our neighborhood. Dogs go on the lease and we all scamper across the street and over a bit to access another gravel road that runs behind a group for about 6 houses, and has a couple of tight squeezes between fire-access emergency gates, before accessing the lower (southern-most) portion of the Upper Reach for Thomas Creek.
Upper Thomas Creek - At about 9,000 feet, the headwaters of Thomas Creek originate in a lush alpine bowl about two miles north of Mount Rose peak. Flows from fifteen or more springs come together in a large meadow and form a meandering channel. Then the stream flows east down a steep, rocky canyon filled with aspen trees, willows, service berries, choke cherries, wood rose, alder and other woody plants. The area is alive with dense carpets of native grasses, sedges, and rushes.
The upper reach of Thomas Creek is relatively undisturbed with the exception of a dirt road and multiple use trails. The creek emerges from the canyon near Timberline Road and flows down through low density housing developments (this is the bit I've been riding).
When we first arrive at the creek, there's a small shallow crossing where the dogs like to lie in the water and get cooled off and drink. I then stay on foot for the worst part of the single-track trail, which all occurs in the first 1/2 mile or so after reaching the creek. Here are some photos:
|Mud Puddle in the Aspens|
|Jess shows the way|
|Sketchy bit of single-track uphill,|
this is steeper than it looks
|More narrow bits, |
this is dropping off sharply on the right
|Along the canyon wall,|
views of the golf course
|Views of Arrowcreek Golf Course, |
I think this is the end of the front 9
|From a prior day, Diego trying to figure out |
the sound of golfers teeing off
|Diego gives the restaurant accomodations|