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Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

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The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area surrounds the Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Green River in Utah and Wyoming. I stopped at the dam and Red Canyon visitor centers. Short trails from the Red Canyon visitor center take you to the canyon rim, whereas there are guided tours of the dam at that visitor center.


I have more photos in this album.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.






Dinosaur National Monument

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I made a stop at Dinosaur National Monument's visitor center east of Vernal, Utah. This visitor center is the only location in the park where you are able to see dinosaur bones. A shuttle bus takes you from the visitor center to the quarry building, which houses the fossils.

There are also some campgrounds, viewpoints, trails, and petroglyphs in this area. There is much more to the monument, but I didn't visit these sections.



There are more photos in this album.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.






Vedauwoo

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Vedauwoo is an area of rock outcroppings along Interstate 80 in southeastern Wyoming. The area is managed by the Forest Service and includes a campground, day use area, trails, and plenty of opportunities for rock climbing.


During my visit I hiked around on part of the loop trail, but there wasn't much to see from this trail. So, I turned uphill and scrambled across the rocks until I reached the top of an outcropping. After some more exploring, I returned to the trailhead by scrambling back down the rocks. There is another short trail that ascends part of an outcropping, but scrambling is more fun.




There are more photos in this album.


© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.






Medicine Bow Peak, Snowy Range

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I hiked to Medicine Bow Peak, the highest point in the Snowy Range of southeastern Wyoming in early July 2017. I began the hike at the trailhead south of Lake Marie, ascended up the ridge, and continued hiking along the back (western) side of the mountains until I reached the summit, which has a great view to the east.


From the summit it is a relatively steep descent towards Lookout Lake, and then a relatively easy couple of miles past a few lakes to return to the trailhead. The entire loop hike is about 7 miles long with over 1800 feet of elevation gain, reaching a maximum of 12,013 feet on the summit of the peak.



There are more photos in this album.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.






Maroon Bells

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The Maroon Bells are two of the most photographed peaks in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The peaks are located just outside of Aspen and are highly visited. For much of the day, when the park road is passable to vehicles, you must board a bus at the Aspen Highlands that will take you Maroon Lake. The bus ticket is $8 and parking is available at the Aspen Highlands ($5 during the week, $10 on weekends). Private vehicles are not allowed from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.


The bus driver narrates a tour on the ~20 minute drive to the lake, but the return journey is not as long. Once the bus drops you off, it's a short walk down to Maroon Lake where you can get a view of the peaks. There are short, easy trails around Maroon Lake, but one trail continues about 1.5 miles up the valley and gains 500+ feet in elevation before arriving at Crater Lake. Crater Lake sits below the peaks, and other trails continue in different directions, allowing the exploration of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Sandstone Nature Trail at Sardis Lake

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The Sandstone Nature Trail is a 1.6-mile loop trail near the dam at Sardis Lake. The trail begins at the same trailhead as the Sandstone Fitness Trail, below the south side of the dam. This is an easy loop on a well maintained trail through and old pine plantation and hardwood forest.


Overall, there is about 140 feet of elevation gain, and there are also a couple of side trails, one to a sign about the pine plantation, and another through an open, sandy area. Several small bridges cross small streams and ditches, but otherwise there's not much else. I've hiked this trail a few times, but the photos and video here are from a hike on June 8, 2017.

See my track on AllTrails here.



© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.






Rocky Ridge Horse Trail at Enid Lake

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The Rocky Ridge Horse Trail is an 8-mile round trip network of trails along the northern shore of Enid Lake in north Mississippi. The trail starts from the Plum Point area, with the trailhead on the left as you're driving towards the campground.


The only map I have been able to find of this trail is the one that is on the board at the trailhead. I went on this hike with the knowledge that there is supposed to be a trail here, but that's it. This trail turns out to be a lot like others in Mississippi - poorly maintained, poorly signed, used by ATVs, and has numerous other side trails that at times go in every direction. To hike this trail you need to know of the general direction to hike in, how to get back, and just go.


Once I got about a mile and a half from the trailhead the trail looked like it received very little use. I eventually reached the midway point on the trail where a dirt road provides access to the lake. From this point, a left the trail and walked along the dr…