The hike to the old Kinzel Mine in the Badger Creek Wilderness is always a treat. In mid May I returned again.
I was hoping to spot elk, deer and maybe a bear. And, I was looking forward to the spring wildflowers.
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, the trail continues to climb to over a mile high at its upper end where it meets the Divide Trail.
Twice on the upper trail I got caught in snow squalls with cold, gusty winds. For a few moments after each squall there was a dusting of snow on the trail. Deep snow on the trail finally stopped me with less than one mile to the trail’s end.
On the return hike, I enjoyed the wild orchids, lilies, and open vistas from the upper trail.
Amazingly enough on such a beautiful weekend, I saw no one else on the trail for the nine hours of my outing.
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