Saturday, August 3, 2013

Horse Trough at Telephone Canyon & Robbers' Roost - 8/3/13

Fletcher Peak from Horse Trough Trail

Telephone Canyon Road

Nineteen hikers drove to the Robbers' Roost trailhead on Deer Creek Highway in the Spring Mountains NRA for a 3 mile hike that begins in Telephone Canyon. We dropped down the trail behind the Robbers' Roost signage and connected with the dirt road that goes down the middle of Telephone Canyon. There are two different dirt roads that can be taken here as seen on the maps below.

 At 0.9 miles down from the trailhead signage, we found a campsite on the left side of the road. (Or, if you take the other dirt road, it is directly across the first dirt road where the two roads come together.) We took a small break here, as seen to the right, then headed up a small wooded trail that bears off to the left up a wash. The trail is well worn and eventually climbs up to two horse troughs that are fed by a piped in spring.

Trail Up from Campsite

We took our time today, since this was the leisurely Saturday hike. Hike a little. Drink a little water. Talk a little. Hike a little. Drink a little water. Talk a little. Etc. The hill up to the water troughs was quite steep. When we turned to continue past the troughs, the hike leader neglected to notice that the trail continued straight for a small distance before going up hill. We went ahead and turned up hill following a semblance of a trail but ended up having to work our way over to the trail to our left. Never fear. We found it!

Horse Troughs and Spring Pipe

 At the top of the hill, we stopped for our break among the trees. Here, the trail for today turned to our left. However, the photo to the left shows what the trail straight ahead looks like as it continues in the direction of Angel Peak. Continuing out in this direction would take the hiker on a one mile loop bringing him or her back to the same break spot.

 The next part of the hike is the most pleasant as the trail circles around with a gentle down slope beneath the Deer Creek Highway. The view of Mummy Mountain, Mummy's Nose, Fletcher Peak, and Hummingbird Gulch was displayed across Telephone Canyon. Eventually, we connected with the old dirt road and complete the loop at the cars. At this point, about half of the nineteen hikers decided to take their leave and the other half decided to explore up to Robbers' Roost.

View Towards Kyle Canyon from Trail

Robbers' Roost Cave from Switchback Trail

 Robbers' Roost is a crack in the high cliff walls of the mountain on the other side of Deer Creek Highway. Back in the old days, thieves would hide up in the crack waiting for Mormon settlers to come traveling by at which time they would ambush the settlers and steal all their valuables.

The climb up to the "roost" can be done two different ways. There is the rock scramble that goes up by the rock wall on the right, or there is a trail that takes one long switchback going up to the left. Today, three of us took the switchback up and met the others at the top where we observed rock climbers testing their skills. Then all of us took the switchback down. It was a beautiful day today as we gained a total of 1370 feet of elevation. The hikers who did not do the Robbers' Roost addition gained around 900 feet of elevation.

Coming Down from Robbers' Roost

Today's hike is indicated by the white marks.

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