Rattlesnake Canyon Snow Run 09

January 3, 2009



We may not get much of it, but we sure know what to do with it. When we heard it was on the ground, we set the date to explore Rattlesnake Canyon. The timing had to be right since the Canyon is a protected area for animal sexy times August through January 1st. When we arrived up there with 10 Higher Grounders and guests on the 3rd, we found our tracks to be first for the new year.

Shooting for Northern Arizona forest roads in the winter can be a crap shoot since many can be closed and gated during snow/mud buildup. We originally opted to run it north to south but to our disappointment, we found that entrance off the highway gated. Everyone was pretty quiet on our trip over to the other end, not knowing what to expect, but to our snowy delight we found it open and ready for us.

The trail itself wasn’t tough. There was a little rocky section on a hill climb after the second half, and near the north gate side we had to interpretive bulldozing because of deeper snow. The main thing we had to keep our eye on because of the white blanketing was staying on the trail. Most of it showed up, but being that it wasn’t listed on the GPS, we checked ourselves along the way using an old topo map. At one point we stopped on the trail to let 25-30 elk cross. We saw a couple deer too later on.

When we got to the radio towers, we ate lunch and played around in the snow. Funny how snow balls always seem to find people’s face. After the frolicking had subsided, we turned the heaters back on and the Jeeps around to backtrack. I gotta say, even if the gate hadn’t been locked, most of us would have run it backwards anyway. The trail is only 4.4mi and the snow was just so inviting making even scrub brush look pretty.

The way back down the hill led to a nice view below and obviously the trail was more easily found. We stopped plenty of times in predictable Higher Ground fashion to ensure a quality picture pack to take home and display. It was the most fun I’ve had on a trail in a long time.

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