Thursday, August 25, 2011

Horse Trough at Telephone Canyon & Robber's Roost - 8/25/11

Marg and Guy led twelve hikers on an all- but- forgotten hike today to the horse trough above the Telephone Canyon dirt road in conjunction with the smaller hike up to Robber's Roost. This was a hike that had not been done within the club for at least a couple of years. It is a short hike of 3.25 miles yet it contains a net elevation gain of around 1200 feet. We parked at the Robber's Roost trailhead and headed down into Telephone Canyon. Connecting with the dirt road, we decided to fore go the obliged visit to the old workers' cabin and took the left fork down to a campsite off the road to the left.

Turning at the campsite, we began our climb on a rather steep trail that leads to a ridge below Angel Peak ... (the one with the big white thing on top). Around 2/3 of the way up to the ridge, we found the horse trough. Actually, there were two horse troughs sitting side by side lengthwise being fed by a drippy pipe from a small spring just above. We took a small break here then continued up the steep hill until we reached the ridge. On the way up, the views of the mountains across Deer Creek Hwy were fabulous. Across the way, we could see Hummingbird Gulch and Robber's Roost below Mummy's Toe.

At the ridge, we turned to the left again and began winding our way around the hillside on a very pleasant trail until we reached the old road that served the same route as Deer Creek Hwy does now. We followed the old dirt road until we got back to where we had descended from the Robber's Roost parking lot.

As we climbed back onto the black top, rabbitbrush surrounded us near full bloom. We crossed the road and began our climb up to Robber's Roost. The story goes that certain disreputable characters would hole up in this box slot canyon in the large caves (The Roost). These people would ambush travelers (mostly Mormon settlers) as they came by and demanded their valuables (The Robbers). The climb up to the caves is steep and full of rock steps, however, there is a trail that leads up to the top which turns to the left off of the rocky trail. This trail contains one long switchback and is a much easier way to get to the end of the canyon.

A few of the hikers, today, explored the newly discovered switchback trail while others sat at the caves and had a snack break. There were rock climbers at the top and when asked if they were the "robbers" they replied, "Yeah. And, this is our roost! Give us your jewelry!" On the middle of the trail, hard rock music emanated from a music contraption and climbers' equipment was strewn about. Sort of different from the days of wagons and trail robbers, huh?

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