Monday, August 24, 2015

Indian Creek: Stevens Gulch

On Saturday we decided to try Indian Creek again and do the seven mile loop that was described to us by two women we met at the end of our ride last time. We were told to go up Indian Creek until we saw the turn off for Steven's Gulch. They both thought it was an easy ride. J thought she could handle a seven mile loop (we had done almost five miles last time).

We decided to take the Forest Service Road to the top and then follow the trails down, thinking it would be easier on J. It still kicked her butt, but she powered through.

Our boys were very up and trotted and cantered up this hill. Ashke was in such a great mood and was playful and energetic for the entire ride. The Eds was awesome as well.

 My rock star!!

This was the high spot and it only took us about fifteen minutes to climb up. We had to hang out and let J catch her breath, as she was struggling a bit with altitude issues and the 900 feet she had just climbed. Once she was ready, we headed downhill.

Downhill is better, but the trail left a lot to be desired. The start of Steven's Gulch.

Mountain Trail Ponehs.
Doesn't Ashke look great?

 Smoke from the fires in Washington and Idaho. 

Such beautiful country.

There was a fallen tree with a leaning tree a couple of strides beyond. I got off and hand walked. Eddy just stepped over. So, I got back on and we went back so J could get video.

Video proof our ponehs rock.

J's "between Coyote's ears" shot on Steven's Gulch.

Perfect example of perseverance - K didn't give up on a very difficult horse and now he is a great, willing mountain trail pony.

The Steven's Gulch trail went down a lot  - like all of the elevation we had climbed up.

The trail was really rough, with a lot of deep mud, rocks and sand.
J ended up walking a lot of the trail.

Another of the logs we stepped over.
Eddy stepped over, and Ashke had a small jump.

Eddy led for a while and Ashke followed behind on a loose rein.
Much better trail etiquette.

Heavy undergrowth.
Large log.

J lifting Coyote over another large log.

The Eds walking calmly over the large log. 
It was taller than his knees.

Ashke locked on the log, picked up a lifted trot and gracefully went over the log.
He prefers a small jump over stepping over the log.

The trail was hard. Thick undergrowth and not intended for a bike.
Not really intended for a horse, either.

The trail in places was a couple of feet deep.
With thick mud in the bottom of the trench. 

For about a mile, the creek was the trail.

It was beautiful.

It was great training terrain.

It was also what I would consider advanced mountain biking.

We did 7.75 miles in about three hours. J walked a lot of the Steven's Gulch trail (very heavy undergrowth and she couldn't pedal her bike). And by the time we started up the uphill back to the trailhead, she's was pretty exhausted. We did 1400 feet of elevation gain, according to K's app. Both horses were moving strongly when we reached the trailer, and finished strong.

J was pretty much at the end of her energy, which we fixed with cold gatorade and a snicker bar. We loaded up and headed home. The trails are absolutely stunning, but just like Buffalo Creek, it's a bit above J's ability at this point. We are thinking that the next ride we do, K and I will ride to Waterton Canyon to meet J as she drives around. Maybe the boy will come with us.


  1. oh, I love it, those look like my kind of trails! I love twisty, tough, singletrack. But sorry they were hard on J, amazing what horses can get through/over/under/across. And love the photo of the 2 horses, Ashke looks ready to conquer the world.

  2. Deep rutted muddy trails are really tough on everybody. Ashke looks great and I love jumping over logs on trail. I'm sure your WE training helps him maneuver on trail quite a bit.

  3. I love the photo you chose for the header! Ashke looks amazing. I'm with irish horse: twisty singletrack is the best!