Sunday, August 19, 2018

Robbers' Roost to Stepladder - 8/18/18

View from Stepladder Trail

Supply Cabin in Telephone Canyon

Robbers' Roost and Trailhead

Starting up to Robbers' Roost
There are very few downhill hikes in the Spring Mountains. The easy moderate club members of the Around the Bend Friends try to exploit all of them! One of them is the hike that begins at the Robbers' Roost Trailhead and ends at the Stepladder Trailhead or the Telephone Canyon Trailhead using one of the many bike routes that are available in that area. Today, nine club members placed one car at the Stepladder Trailhead then used three others to take hikers up to Robbers' Roost Trailhead. Our first order of business was to climb up to the crack in the mountain that has several alcoves and caves where these highway robbers used to hide out. It's a short climb using the switchback instead of the scramble route. Unusually, there were no rock climbers around and we also beat the flow of families up this popular short hike.

Large Trees on Switchback
After using our imaginations at the hide out (and, also as we observed the rock climbing wall chains and such) we returned to the parking lot and took the steep trail down behind the sign.

View from Robbers' Roost
At the bottom of the hill, we turned right. At the nearby junction, we veered to a 2 o'clock direction onto a trail. It's a wide rocky trail that we followed down to a dip.

Alcoves used by Robbers

Taking a Break at the Cabin
A right turn at the dip brought us to an old log structure that is thought to have been a supply cabin/shelter for equipment that they used when installing the telephone lines for the resort cabins at Deer Creek. We took our break here. Next, we continued down the bike trail that curved to the right. We were now paralleling the highway above to the right. At the first fork, we went right. This took us off the main bike drag and soon after, four bikes went zooming past us to the left fork. The name of the trail that we were on now is Cowboy Washington. ...?... Anyway, we followed this trail easily with the road above the whole time.

Old Supply Cabin
The trail uses the Old Deer Creek Road in sections and soon after, we came to a large junction of trails. We veered to the right at a 2 o'clock angle and started down the Stepladder Trail.

Hiking down Cowboy Washington Trail
We had already gotten a beautiful view of Telephone Canyon and the La Madre Mountains in the distance past Kyle Canyon. Now the views of Kyle Canyon really opened up.

Distant view of La Madre Peak from Telephone Canyon

Resting in the Shade
Stepladder Peak ridge rose to our left and Harris Peak rose across Kyle Canyon in front of us. The escarpment near the Visitor Center was a prominent landmark. We were passed by four more zooming bicyclists on the trail going down. The trail is beautiful and very enjoyable. Soon, we turned to the right onto the Stepladder feeder trail and hiked into the parking lot. It was a warm day but clouds helped us out a bit. Very pleasant hike.

4 miles; +260 feet elevation gain; -1500 feet elevation loss; 3 hours

Old Road section of Trail

Speeding Biker on Stepladder Trail

Visitor Center in Distance

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