Sunday, October 20, 2019

Twisted Forest Trail, Brian Head, UT

Our Halloween themed hike: the Twisted Forest Trail.  The ancient gnarled Bristlecone Pines match the stereotypical haunted forest look.  It is believed that the oldest of the trees on this trail are about 2000 years old, but others not too far away are 4500 years old.

The trail starts off on a dirt road by the entrance to Brian Head.  You wind through dirt roads for a couple of miles, entering the Cedar Breaks National Monument before arriving at the trailhead.  There is a nice sign explaining the significance of the forest and a map of the trail.  The trail is very poorly marked and not well traveled, so at times we had to look around to figure out the next steps.

The trail heads up a steep grade with loose rocks and dirt, making even the most surefooted hikers in our group slip and nearly fall.

After about a mile, you reach the pinnacle -- just over 10000' elevation.  You can walk right up to the unguarded loose-dirt edge, overlooking a steep cliff.  It may have been more than 1000' down.  Knowing that these beautiful formations are caused by this loose dirt eroding away, you wonder how secure your footing actually is.

The view was spectacular and the Bristlecone Pines were amazing; each was so unique.  A hike well worth the effort.

Being at the top was a little unnerving.

Connor's Angelic Visitation.  If you look closely, you'll see two Bristlecone Pines, one completely lifted the other out of the ground.

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