For a while now I have been telling Jodi that I need to take her on a loop to see some of the spectacular Fall colors … typically we have about a 2 week window where the hillsides erupt in bright Yellows and Reds, so this weekend we loaded up the truck, grabbed the dog, and headed out for a nice afternoon drive to see what we could find …..
Moores Creek …
Edna Creek turnoff …. here is where I lost the dust cap to the camera lens … later to be found, but ran over.
RD 312 … Pikes Fork (Jackson Peak – Graham)
Rd 312 …
Not maintained for “passenger” cars ….
Jackson Peak LO …
We continue down through Trapper Flat …
I assume that given the name of the area that this is an old trappers cabin ….
Pushing on …
Climbing out of the flat …
As usual… we travel through an old burn area …. chainsaw being part of the required kit …. just in case.
Reaching the top we come across this traverse. In the early spring it is common to find the road closed at this point due to avalanche threating snow drifts forming above.
This being close to the high point and offering incredible 360 views from up top … .we stop and make the short hike up.
West towards Wolf Mtn …
Head waters of Bear River …
Counter Clockwise Pano …
West (Bear River)
Southwest (Shephard Peak)
East-Northeast (Sawtooth Wilderness)
While we were a bit late to see the Fall colors in full effect, the Aspens already dropping most of their leaves, the views from top alone were well worth the drive …
Johnson Creek Rd (413) runs north/south connecting Yellow Pine and Landmark while also following the scenic Johnson Creek.
Landmark 25 miles ….
The scenic Johnson Creek …
The road parts impressive ridgelines from either side …. where’s my fly rod?
The road continues past the Johnson Creek Airstrip, a popular fly in destination amongst pilots … the Johnson Creek Guard Station … and a few summer cabins. There was not much in terms of traffic, but I did pass a car or two … this effects how often I can stop to take pics as the dust is a deterrent to me in regards to letting those cars back by.
U turn …
Looking back north through the burn …
Pushing on …
Arrival – Landmark Ranger Station …
From here I reconnect with the pavement for a quick 10ish miles back into Warm Lake. Some don’t like hardtop … I on the other hand actually enjoy a few miles of smooth running to conclude a ride.
Hmmm … which way shall I go. This point is actually a junction that will take you to the Landmark/Stanley Rd, Deadwood Reservoir, Scott Mtn, Cascade, or back up to Yellow Pine …. all part of the current IBDR.
All and all a good day …. 130ish miles … the bike and the OBR ADV Gear luggage performed flawlessly …. and reason to return with some still unexplored country!
The run back along the ridge was quick …. you know how the exit of an area always seems to take less time than the run in… this was the case today.
I reconnected to road 375 right below Monumental Summit. from there I started my way west, dropping in elevation towards the Stibnite drainage. RD 375 from this point is in really good shape… an easy ride.
As I enter the Stibnite Mine area I notice a few sign boards along the road side. The boards tell the story of the Stibnite Mine from it’s early days and through the proceeding decades.
There are a few remnants within the trees, but nothing of any significance. I continue on ….
Modern day activity is present at the mine … I can hear the faint sound of running equipment and the company operating the current exploratory and reclamation project has areas of concern gated off. The main road through the site however is open for public travel.
I continue about a 1/4 mile down the road and on my right a large pit opens up into view. There is an observation platform built along with additional information on the pit. Evidently this is the pit from the old Stibnite Mine along with some of the old remaining buildings.
With the pit in my rear view … .I continue my backtrack towards Yellow Pine.
… then connecting with Rd 413, Johnson Creek Rd
On my way up to Monumental Summit, I passed a small primitive two track cutting off to the west. Given the opportunity to visit decommissioned lookout towers, Meadow Creek Lookout has been on my radar for awhile. Meadow Creek sits along the upper reaches of Antimony Ridge, and this two track is the route in.
Quick shot off the road towards the SW
The run in towards the lookout is approx. 10 miles. The road being in fairly good condition allowed for a pretty decent pace.
Arrival at the lookout was welcomed … the road in seemed to have the character of “it must be over the next rise” …. “and the next rise” …. it seemed to go on and on …. a long 10 miles.
This lookout tower like the many decommissioned sites is starting to show it’s wear and tear from the elements.
Meadow Creek Lookout is an old L4 Cabin, built in 1933… old images here.
Riordan USGS Marker
A walk around the observation deck is required …
As usual, the typical views are amazing. However, the remoteness of this site has been on my mind since Monumental Summit … I’m not concerned so much of mishap, but a break down up here could pose a challenge for recovery, and being a Sunday, I would not expect much traffic past today. I do carry a SPOT to maintain a positive link with civilization, which does offer some peace of mind, but I decide it’s time to backtrack to more traveled roads.
A single track trail diverts off the road about a mile back from the lookout. This trail I believe passes Riordan Lake and reconnects with Johnson Creek Road. This will be a nice route to take on a future visit, with a partner.