Last weekend I hiked a stock trail that runs between Ford Creek and Diamanti Canyon, both of which drain into Price Canyon. I noticed the trail in Google Earth years ago, and tried snowshoeing up it this winter without success. There aren’t many hiking trails in Carbon County, especially not that are accessible when there’s snow on the ground. I had hoped most of the snow would be melted off by now. I parked on the side of US-6 and climbed up to the old highway, then followed it to Ford Creek and walked up the road adjacent to the creek. The lower portion of the trail appeared to have been worked by a bulldozer quite some time ago, but just past a small rocky ledge the trail narrowed considerably. Along the trail were some small cougar tracks but they appeared to be somewhat old.
The trail topped out on a ridge with views into Price Canyon. It turned west and entered a more densely-forested area. Some tree-trimming showed that the ranchers who run cattle in the area have been maintaining the trail. There were mostly deer tracks on this part of the trail, but I still saw an occasional cougar track. I wore a bear bell just so I didn’t accidentally sneak up on a cougar or bear. I encountered a shed deer antler, and about a minute later found another, both right on the trail. Finding two shed antlers this early into the hike made me optimistic that I’d find many more, but I didn’t see another antler for the rest of the trip. I heard running water and glanced at my GPS, thinking I surely couldn’t already be at the canyon between Ford Creek and Diamanti Canyon. I was right. Instead of a creek running with snowmelt, I had reached a spring bubbling out of the ground. It appeared that rocks had been stacked up all over the spring source to keep cattle from trampling it. I’ve never seen so much water spring from the ground–my photos don’t do it justice. There were relatively fresh boot prints around the spring, but none in either direction along the trail, so I’d imagine there’s another trail that comes straight up from the highway to the spring.
I continued on past the next canyon, seeing bear sign along the way. I hiked up a ridge and across a relatively flat area before descending toward Diamanti Canyon. The trail was steep and snow-covered on the last stretch before bottom of the canyon. I decided not to cross the snowy slope, especially since I couldn’t see where the trail continued after reaching the canyon bottom. There had also been no clues in Google Earth that showed where or even whether the trail continued from there. Perhaps I’ll return another time to explore further. I hiked quickly back down the way I’d come in and made it to the Jeep in half the time it had taken me to hike up the trail.