Day 120

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I-15 Feely exit to Mule Ranch, Hwy 274
26 mi ::
1775 mi ::
Overcast

Ann drops me off back at I-15 in the morning. I walk a few miles of road to a trailhead, where two ATVs are just starting up the Rocky Ridge trail. I expect to encounter more, but find only mile after mile of quiet trail through woods and boulders. A few times I hear motors on other trails. I must admit, this would be a fun place to explore on a motorcycle, with endless possibilities for loops in the trail network.

I just keep heading up, over Burnt Mountain, then Hungry Hill, all on really pleasant trail. I could have skipped Hungry Hill, descended to FS 83 early, and passed a creek and spring. It’s a shorter option, but probably less scenic.

Getting to Little American Creek the trail is a bit overgrown and hard to follow. I just bushwhack down the creek bed and find a nice spring, then descend to a grassy road.

I’m now in the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area. It’s closed to vehicles most of the year, and doesn’t look like it sees much use except by cattle. The road goes by several decrepit log cabins.

Ann is waiting for me near a restored mule ranch on highway 274. There’s a family there, out for a weekend drive. They give me a cold soda and tell us about the area. Now Ann can go crystal digging, and soak in the Elk River hot springs while I spend three days hiking the Anaconda-Pintler range. We camp with a great view of these mountains. The highest peak still has a long snowdrift on one ridge.

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