Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Fort Robinson State Park: Saddle Rock and Lover's Leap Butte

It's forecast to be a hot day today, but I figured if I got an early start, I could avoid the hottest part of the day. I packed the car and headed north up to Fort Robinson State Park. I parked in a nondescript parking area at a gate in the fence, climbed over the fence and started my walk. I was surprised to find another car in the lot as I set out on the two track trail that led up towards the Red Cloud Buttes.

There are not many different species of wildflowers blooming right now, but there is a lot of goldenrod in bloom.

I made my way to the top of a ridge with nice views out to the surrounding bluffs. 

I then found a side trail that followed the ridge to the east and up and over to my first destination for the day: Saddle Rock. I enjoyed the view from Saddle Rock,

then retrace my steps back to the trail for the hike to my second destination for the day: Lover's Leap Butte. Again, there were plenty of wonderful views. 

From the ridge, I followed the two-track trail north and down into a small valley. There I met another hiker, the owner of the other vehicle that was parked in the lot. He was looking for Lover's Leap Butte and had been unable to find it. I agreed to let him follow me to our mutual destination. We climbed a steep trail out of the valley and made our way to the base of the butte and past a feature known as Grant's Thumb. 

We circled around to the north side of the butte where we found a crack leading up to the top. I led the way up the steep, but manageable climb and then scampered around until I found the highest point. My companion took my photo there.

Then I helped him descend back to the base of the bluff, admiring the views as we went.

Once we were back to the official trails, the hiking went much faster. We enjoyed the scenery 

and conversation. Before we knew it, we were back to our vehicles at the trailhead before the heat became too unbearable.

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