I always enjoy hiking to the old Kinzel Mine in the Badger Creek Wilderness. In late April I returned again.
A handful of blacktail deer and one elk were spotted, but only one deer was a “poser”.
This is about the most enjoyable mid-elevation hike around. A portion of the trail follows the burbling stream along the valley bottom, reaching the remains of the Kinzel Cabin near a pleasant campsite after four miles.
Nearby is the old Kinzel mine shaft entering the canyon wall for about 80 feet. I’ve never been brave enough to explore the mine by myself.
After a tough ascent to the top of the ridge (a 1,000-foot elevation gain in a little over one-half mile), the trail continues to climb to over a mile high at its upper end where it meets the Divide Trail. But, this time the deep snow stopped me with less than two miles to go.
On the return hike, I enjoyed the wild orchids, lilies, butterflies and open vistas from the upper trail.
Amazingly enough on such a beautiful Saturday, I saw no one else on the trail for the eight hours of my outing.