Trail Lessons, Abyss Lake Trail

The trail goes all the way to Abyss Lake; that lake deep in the gorge between Mts. Bierstadt & Evans seen from the Mt. Evans Road.  What a compelling place that is!  The trail is really long……over 8 miles one way.  Most people do it as a backpack.  We decided to go as far as the Rosalie Trail Junction.  My 14 month old Samoyed puppy, Spirit,went along and got quite a few new wilderness lessons.  This time it was stream crossings over pretty big water, on some “interesting excuses” for bridges.  It was a lovely day:  fairly cool, sunny, with intermittent clouds that were refreshing while panting up the path.   The trail was similar to the Three Mile Creek trail, just one valley south of Scott Gomer Creek (named for an early logger in the area).  Scott Gomer and Three Mile Creek have similar geology, similar stream (though, luckily, not as many crossings as the Three Mile Creek, for Spirit’s sake!)  The valley was broader, and there were large areas of willow growth…….and, piles of dried MOOSE poop, probably from the past fall & winter seasons.  We didn’t see any moose, but they sure could have been there, remaining hidden in the willows.  John and Spirit, on one of their many side trips off the trail,  found a “kill” of some kind…..small……maybe a squirrel killed by a pine marten?  Hard to say, but the country at that point was very cougar-looking, open brush on a rocky, cliffy hillside.  A perfect place for mountain lions to stalk mule-eared deer.  While a squirrel would be just a snack for a cougar, we became a bit nervous in that area.  I accidentally left my poles at one point, and had to hike back down a-ways to retrieve them.  John, McLorrie & Spirit waited for me at a stream crossing.  When I got back, all were safely across, but with a tale to tell…….apparently, while attempting to cross the stream on a jumble of logs placed across it, Spirit slipped off slippery log into the deep part of the creek & went all the way under….twice!  Head and all!  It took some fishing to retrieve him out, but he finally got across fine…….no need for artificial respiration ; )    However, Spirit was pretty cautious at subsequent crossings.  Though he was a bit hesitant at first, he really did well after success at the next crossing, and then he was all confidence again!  I took pictures of him on the way down at the “bad” crossing.  The only slight problem was with trying to get around Lorrie as they both crossed together (why do dogs always do this??)  But, he did it successfully, and Lorrie remained upright.  I’ve got it in a sequence shot.  Here’s some photos from the hike:  Oh, and btw, this one would be a WONDERFUL fall hike……hillsides and hillsides of aspen!!  Most of the trail is quite gentle. I would LOVE to go the entire distance someday when the weather is perfect, and I’m in better shape!

“Moose Observation Area” was John’s name for this part of the Scott Gomer Creek Valley. Moose love wetlands defined by the protection of willow growth, the low-growing green plant in the foreground of this photo.

This is a hike to tuck into one’s mind for Autumn. The lush green aspen forests below Geneva Peak should turn into golden magnificence sometime in September.

After his headlong into the stream, Spirit is cautious on this double trunk crossing. John, his new Best Buddy, urges him on.

Whew! Okay, now all is better!

Scott Gomer Creek, taken from the middle of that double trunk crossing (hand held).

Yet another crossing. NOW we are getting the hang of it!

Spirit at our “destination” of the Abyss and Rosalie Trails, some 4 miles up the valley. From here the trail to Abyss Lake gets more serious. We’ll leave it for later.

Our lunch spot just back down the trail from the trail jct. Here, beneath the slopes of Kataka Mtn, we enjoyed the views of the Scott Gomer valley & active beaver workings.

Spirit’s backtrack across the “scary logs” he had so much trouble with on the trip up the trail. This time, other than almost losing it while passing Lorrie, he walked the Balance Beam just fine!

Categories: Red Foxes | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Trail Lessons, Abyss Lake Trail

  1. Jody

    Fun story about the scary logs. Fun to tuck another destination into the maybe files 🙂


  2. Ken

    Like most Samoyeds he is sorting out things quickly. I always find it funny that many people think they should be a pampered house dog, when the environment they enjoy most is out in the wilds.


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