Horne Lake Trail

It was a pretty cool night last night, with the temperature dropping to about 8 degrees, so I figured it would be an excellent day to do the Horne Lake Trail.  I had been waiting for the weather to cool down a bit, since I knew this was going to be somewhat of a rugged trail, with steep climbs, and the last thing I wanted was to be soaked in sweat before I reached the top.  It didn’t quite work out that way though.

I’m finding that the weather up here is quite unpredictable.  Yesterday we got hit with a storm that was surprisingly wicked.  Here is a shot from that storm;

Yep, that’s hail, in large quantities!  It came down for a long time, and there were still clumps of hail on the ground more than 4 hours later.  The temperature during this storm dropped to 10 degrees, and this was at just after 1pm in the afternoon.

Anyway, that was yesterday, so when I got up this morning and saw bright sunshine, and cool temps, I was all set to go.  I drove down to the Miner’s Monument, where the Horne Lake trail starts, parked the truck, and took off.

There are three other trails that branch off the Horne Lake Trail.  I’ll investigate those on another day.

The trail started off easy enough, on level, fairly smooth ground.

Horne Lake through the trees.

This is one of the bigger trees along the trail, and I was trying to get a picture of me beside it.  The walking stick that I have, has a screw mount for my camera on top of it, and a sharp stainless steel point on the bottom, so that I can stick it in the ground, and use it as a mono-pod to either prevent camera shake, or take self-pics.  I set up the timer on the camera, but I didn’t quite make it to the tree before the shot was taken.

I guess I could have gone through the menu on the camera to find a longer time interval, but I couldn’t be bothered.  These new digital cameras have all kinds of settings.  The only problem is, if you don’t know exactly where they are in the menu, then it could take some time to locate.  On my older cameras, the timer was a mechanical switch, on the outside of the camera, and it was very easy to locate and use.

The trail crosses a bridge in an open area where a river runs through.

Here’s the bridge.

The going starts to get a bit more rough after that.  You can see the little white markers they use to mark the trail on one of the trees in this shot.

That’s where I’m headed to.

It’s also starting to get a bit more cloudy than it had been.

A rocky ledge through the trees.

On top of that rocky ledge.

I moved higher up along the cliff face.

Now I’m getting up to a higher vantage point.

To say that the trail was rocky is a bit of an understatement.

Higher and higher I go.

That’s my walking stick stuck in the ground there.  You can also see the gathering gloom in the sky there.

Let’s take a look down.  Nope, there’ll be no diving today!

I still have a way to go ’till I get to the top.

Not a very soft landing if you happen to fall off that cliff.

A look along the face of the cliff.

I guess I’m pretty close to the top at this point.

It’s rugged country for sure.

The trees around here have to be tough, and they’ll grow anywhere, even out of solid rock.

Nice diving platform, but my heart’s just not in it today, it’s too busy finding its way out of my throat.

I have to say, I’m no stranger to being high up on rocky cliffs, but you really don’t want to make any sudden moves on this one.  There are so many places that one could easily slip, and there are no second chances here.

This was only about half way through the trail, but it was the last shot I got.  No, I didn’t fall off the cliff.  The gathering gloom finished gathering and started unloading its gloom on me.  So, I didn’t get wet from sweat this time, but I did get wet nevertheless.  I hid in the trees for a while, where it was a bit drier, but it seemed like the rain was going to hang around for a while, so I continued down the trail.

Once everything was wet, the trail got much trickier.  I was continuing along a smaller trail, which goes close to the edge of the cliff, but it came to a point where it was just too risky, so I back-tracked a bit in order to get to the main trail.  Once I was back to the main trail, it started to descend, very steeply I might add.  Going down was a real challenge, and I had to hang on to small trees along the pathway, which was basically made of jagged rocks, mingled with very slippery tree roots.  A fall here probably wouldn’t kill you, but a broken ankle, or arm wouldn’t be all that nice either.

All this time it was raining, and quite cool too.  I eventually made my way to lower ground, and kept following the little white trail markers, but somehow I must have missed one of the markers, because I ended up at the Mt. Dufour ski hills.  Anyway, it was just a bit out of my way, so I used the road leading up to the ski hills to walk back down to Hwy 108, and then along the highway to where I had parked the truck.

So, I did enjoy the trail.  It’s a pretty good workout, although I’d rather have done it without the rain.  It’s not a trail that I’d be too fast to bring kids on.  It’s just too risky at the top to take the chance, and even for adults, I would say that this is no place to be joking around.  Common sense is your best friend up there.  The only downside was that it’s pretty close to town, and the highway, so you can hear those sounds in the background, which sort of takes away from the experience.  But, for what it is, it was a great hike.  I’ll be back again to check out those other trails too.






2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Avril on August 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Great photos Al …………. you sure got solitude there.


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