After my wonderful trip last year to the Grape Creek Wilderness Study Area outside of Canon City, I thought a backpacking trip to a similar area nearby would be rather nice.
The Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area seemed intriguing: canyons, fast flowing streams and an off-trail route that promised to lead to a forgotten site (not on the map) from the turn of the last century.
The BLM website mentioned camping:
And maps, including one at the trail head, mentioned camping:
And so, all-in-all, the idea seemed like a great weekend trip. A chance to have a leisurely morning with my a past partner, get to the TH by early afternoon and make a quick out-and-back while exploring a new area.
However, when I arrived at the trailhead, I saw this sign:
I should say that this trailhead is on state land..but shortly behind the sign, the area turns into BLM land.
A local I met on the way back from my now-day hike mentioned this sign was not here 1.5 yrs ago when he made a trip similar to what I had planned.
Is overnight parking not allowed? Is the state trying to discourage camping in the BLM area due to a reportedly high concentration of mountain lions here?
I don’t know. A follow-up call would have to be made.
What I do know is that the sign is very large and not subtle. Without further knowledge, I decided to make an ~8-mile day hike. A bit of a long drive for a day hike, and probably not as dramatic as my planned off-trail route, but it was nice.
The brief looks into the canyon along the creek seemed pleasant.
And the topography below looked interesting:
I even saw my first Pasque flower sighting of the season. My favorite spring wildflower.
And, in the end, the beer I had originally packed in for a little evening libation still tasted good.
It was not the trip I planned, but still nice.