We wanted to find a way from the trail network south of Garden Road to Garden Road Trail. I had seen segments of a truck trail on Google Earth but I couldn’t see a way to actually make the connection. We just got started and Brandy alerted on what I believed to be a coyote. She kept whining and pulling as I kept looking for what had her attention. Finally, I saw a dark-coated coyote about 100 meters away that was looking at us, then it started moving slowly away. It was joined by a second coyote and then the duo soon disappeared over a small hill. We hiked to the top of the ridge near the trailhead, following it to the truck trail we had explored about nine months ago. The truck trail was so overgrown so that it virtually disappeared in several places.
Eventually, we came to a “T” and decided to explore to the right. The tracks quickly told us that it was a mountain bike trail. About a half mile later, the trail started up a narrow dry creek bed flanked by a steep hill on each side. There were several places where the creek bed went up almost vertically in about five-foot steps. I would like to have seen how the mountain bikers navigated that. We finally were able to follow the trail out of the creek bed, continued up the hill and then started down toward Hwy. 67. We hiked, with Brandy exploring the brush along the way, until we were within 0.2 miles of Hwy. 67. The trail appeared to lead to private property with a house and outbuildings, so we turned around and headed back up the hill. I set a GPSr waypoint at the peak of the trail and we headed down to the creek bed. I had to face the creek drop offs in two places to carefully back down since my boots were somewhat muddy giving me poor traction.
We returned to the “T” with the truck trail and continued on the mountain bike trail. We went over a small ridge and there it was, Garden Road Trail! We had found the connecting trail for which we were looking! The trail was now substantially less rugged than the creek bed, with numerous switchbacks down the steep hill. We finally joined Garden Road Trail and followed it through the Sycamore Creek development back to the starting trailhead.
I looked at our track on Google Earth and found that we had unknowingly passed within 100 feet of the top of Goat Peak. I’ve been searching for a trail to Goat Peak in order to find a geocache hidden there. Our hike was definitely a success!