12 July 2014

Alma Christensen Interpretive Trail

Fremont Indian State Park

Fishlake National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

I picked a random spot along the road to go geocaching to stretch my legs and break up driving to Colorado, which turned out to be a nice little stretch of old highway now bypassed by Interstate 70 in Utah. The first cache was placed next to a pair of right-of-way markers for the road, which was fun to find. Another had me parking near another benchmark and climbing up a short way along an old road. Coming down again, I noticed them scattered over the hillside thick with the fragrance of sage and blooming with all their might: Matilija poppies.

Matilija poppies in Utah
Along a bit of old Utah state road there are Matilija poppies growing.

After the rather surprising flowers, I found a nice trail I wanted to go down, but had no idea how far would go, and then some road construction. The pilot car for it decided it needed to lead everyone past my turn and then past a couple little trails and I decided to go for one since I was still wanting a little more walking about and was not figuring out why it kept going. A horse trailer already occupied the little turn around parking lot. This trail is very clear about how long it is, just 3/4 of a mile. It also proclaims itself to be an interpretive trail but there is no box for the brochure. The prepared can find the content of the brochure that was once available at the Fremont Indian State Park visitor center reproduced here. I cannot count myself among the prepared, so will simply have to wonder at each number.

sign at the start of the trail
Starting off on the Alma Christensen Interpretive Trail.

cut metal sign
A cut metal sign to entertain the kids.

The trail climbs quickly from the parking lot to look out over the interstate, which adds its song to at least half of the route. The signs seem to be set next to rock formations, cut trees, and examples of the local flora. It is quite usual until a little spur takes me to a small and crude structure.

looking down on the parking lot
A quick little climb brings out the view, first of the parking lot and highway, then of the mountains beyond.

a crude structure
A semblance of a wickiup, not quite as described. These probably need at least yearly reconstruction.

The climb continues as I leave the state park for the national forest. As the trail curves around giving views to the east and then north, the scenery changes somewhat. The land remains arid, but flattens out.

forest service sign
A mini forest service sign for a mini trail.

eroded sandstone
A geology lesson at a nicely eroded piece of Sevier River Formation.

canyon to the east
Canyon carved through the east.

juniper tree with a lot of texture
Old and textured juniper tree.

At the far end of the loop, a second trail starts off across the plateau. It just has a slapstick with a number to mark it.

trail sign at the far end of the loop
Fishlake National Forest Trail 363 heads off from the far side of the interpretive loop trail.

a flat land with mountains around
North and northeast look very flat from here until some distant mountains.

The trail starts down again as it loops around, and then gets somewhat steep as it becomes more determined to finish. The horses are vanishing into the trailer as I come around.

The southwest view shows the canyon and the mountains to the south.

local resident
One of the local residents.

At the bottom, a small trail heads into a tiny slot canyon in the white cliffs. I poke my way in a little, but without the brochure do not know to look for a little graffiti possibly left by the trail's namesake. The area boasts older art on the rocks as well, although it would probably take some digging to find out where.

tiny slot canyon in very white stone
The tiny slot canyon that bears some mildly recent stone art.

©2014 Valerie Norton
Posted 17 July 2014

No comments: