Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sterling Mine Ditch Trail - Armstrong Gulch TH

January 28, 2018

The Sterling Mine Ditch trail is over 20 miles long and currently has 7 different trailheads.  We have hiked sections of the SMDT from the Tunnel Ridge TH and the Bear Gulch TH,  so today we decided to hike another portion of the trail starting from the Armstrong Gulch trailhead.

Time to get hiking!
We actually parked at the horse trailer area for the Armstrong Gulch TH and hiked up a half mile series of switchbacks to the SMDT.  We then made a right turn and hiked over 3 miles out and along the trail.

View along the very flat Sterling Mine Ditch trail

Trail with the Sterling Mine Ditch to the right- hard to see in some sections.

The first mile was mostly in the shade and featured lots of trees and even a few areas with large groupings of ferns. We then entered the more sun exposed segment of the trail which featured great views of the Applegate Valley and surrounding mountains, some of which were still covered wtih a little bit of  snow from the last storm.  No wildflowers were seen yet, but it is still early in the year.  It was not however too early for those wonderful little friends of hikers known as ticks.  Yup, they were out already, but we only collected (and discarded) a few.

View from the trail with some slightly snow covered mountains in the distance
As the sun came out in the afternoon, we peeled off our sweatshirt/jacket ---  it actually felt hot! After turning around and retracing our steps, we finished our hike at 7.3 miles, which still leaves us with plenty of the Sterling Mine Ditch trail to explore in the future.

If you are interested in this trail, click here for the website which gives the history of the Sterling Mine Ditch and maps showing the various trailheads and hiking distance in miles.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol