Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mormon Girls' Camp - 9/7/16

House for Sale (Dogs not Included)

Camp Stimson Mascot

Flowers to Brighten the Landscape

Find the Deer
 Today's group of thirteen moderate hikers began at the second of two possible trailheads for today's route through the Mormon Girls' Camp (Camp Stimson) in the Spring Mountains NRA. The girls are finished with the use of the area on Labor Day so we jumped at the chance to do the hike. Our trailhead was the Deer Creek Picnic Area where the pit toilets (albeit dirty from the recent long weekend) are located. We crossed the road and started up through the picnic tables alongside the still flowing Deer Creek.

Cougar Ridge Trail
 Right away, we spotted a small group of mule deer and passed them as they ran up the hill.

Water Break
 We crossed over to Cougar Ridge Trail dirt road and continued our climb. Soon, we were making the right turn past the "No Trespassing" signs. It's a public road but the signs may keep out the riff raff.

Cabin on Cougar Ridge Trail

Old Sawmill Ruins being Reused
 The road twists and turns through small cabins that were once resort cabins. Now, the property is privately owned. A small break was taken to wait for the stragglers then we proceeded up to the old sawmill ruins. This was only one of many sawmills producing in the Spring Mountains back in the day. After the sawmill stop, we tackled the steep part of Cougar Ridge Trail. As we watched the ground, we found a fresh cougar track. Appropriate, huh?

Climbing the Steep Road
 We passed Enus coming down in his truck. He's the one selling his beautiful house up on the hill overlooking Mummy's Nose. He suggested that we all go in together and buy it for the club! ... Yeah, right.

Almost There
 A little more climbing and we reached the Mummy's Nose Overlook at the saddle. After a look-see, we continued around the hill on the road.

Circling Around the Hill

Angel Peak in Distance
 We pointed out Wild Horse Ridge below and the North Loop Meadow above that. We also saw that the aspens around Mummy Springs were already yellow. The view from the road went from the mountains to the desert below. Then, as we turned around the corner, we saw Enus' house way above. His dogs were barking like crazy. Next, there was another house. This house was fortressized. Fence, logs, etc.

Desert Below
 After passing the fortress, the road forks. We took the right fork and passed another sign that said "No Trespassing." This one, we didn't want to mess with.

Fortified Property
 We dropped down off of the road to the right and circled around the hill to the left looking for that elusive game trail to take us down to the camp.

Steep Descent from Road to Camp

Sunshine in the Aspens
 We never really found it but we did successfully make it down the steep hill to the wash below right at the point where firewood is stacked along the trail. This is the very tiptop of Camp Stimson. The sun was shining through the aspen leaves and we started down the worn trail toward them. Soon, we reached the large set of picnic tables and sat to take our break.

Snack Break at the Tables
 It appears that the camp has added a large number of picnic tables since the last time we were here. Every year, the camp changes and improves.

Camp Stimson Structures
 An employee was there in the camp, today, moving around firewood, and cleaning up.

Exiting the Fire Escape Trail

Easy Does It down the Rope
We hiked through the camp then headed for the North Fire Exit Trail. This is a nice trail that leads down through a wash. The interesting part of it is the rope descent. Every year, the rope becomes less needed. Anyway, from here, we followed the trail up to the parking lot (trailhead #1) and on out a part of the old Deer Creek road. This brought us right back to the cars at the trailhead. Pleasant hike.

5 miles; 1100 feet elevation gain; 3.25 hours

Rabbitbrush on the Way Out

Connecting with the Old Deer Creek Road

Returning to Today's Trailhead

No comments: