Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hike Report: Copper Breaks State Park, October 6, 2016

Donna and I took a short hike while at Copper Breaks State Park. The park has 10 or more miles of trails available to hikers, bikers, and equestrians. I put together bits and pieces from several trails to get us a short hike. Here are some stats from that hike:

  • Total Distance: 4.2 miles
  • Time: 1:58:20
  • Elevation: 1313 feet to 1414 feet
  • Trails Hiked: Sections of Bull Canyon Short Loop, Bull Canyon Long Loop, Chris Link, and Equestrian Trails.

The distance and time are a bit skewered, for some of the distance was on park roads. The actual hike itself was only 2.87 miles, if I calculate correctly from the park map.

We walked about a quarter mile from our campsite to the Bull Canyon Trailhead just west of the Comanche Camping Area. Initially, we followed this trail in a southerly direction, then began working west. It eventually connected with the Chris Link Trail, which more or less took us along the western perimeter of the park. We then took the Equestrian Trail to its trailhead near the Big Pond Equestrian Camping Area.

The first part of the trail – the Bull Canyon trail – was well maintained and had recently been mown. As it wound around a ridge, there were nice views to the south and west. We eventually skirted one or more canyons that provided some interesting views and even a little early autumn color. Near the end of this section of the trail, we came to the head of Bull Canyon, where we paused to enjoy the views down the canyon.

From this point, the trail was not maintained. In fact, sometimes it was a bit overgrown. These sections, though, were brief. I was thankful we had worn long pants. Most of this middle section of the hike really had a badlands appearance. Sometimes, it was difficult to know where the trail went. Fortunately, tracks of other hikers and even some bicycles were clearly evident, and we trusted these trails. There are also frequent signs along this section of the trail. Just look well ahead from time to time and you should be able to spot one. Probably close to half a dozen signs were down over the course of our hike, but most were lying in a way that you could tell the correct direction.

Now that we are familiar with the park, we will expand our hike should we come back. The eastern side of the park has more challenging hikes with greater elevation gains. My legs just weren’t up to that kind of climbing at this time.

Below are some pictures from the hike.

Trailhead just west of Comanche Camping Area.

Both Bull Canyon trails were mown, making for a nice morning hike.

There were many good views along the trails, including this one with just a hint of coming autumn color.

Head of Bull Canyon.

Just past Bull Canyon, the neatly mown trail disappears. Most brushy sections like this are very brief.

The Chris' Link trail looks largely like this.

This is the northern stretch of the Chris' Link trail along the park boundary.

You can barely make out a bit of water in this cattail lined pond along the Equestrian trail. This is NOT the Big Pond shown on park maps.

End of the trail. From here we road walked back to our trailer.

Wind mill at the end of the trail.

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