Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Prentice Cooper WMA II
Day One: Outcast Total Miles: 1404.12
Main trailhead parking to McNabb Gulf Campsite 8.7 Miles
West side heading South
McNabb Gulf Campsite to Main trailhead Parking 11.42 Miles
East side heading North
Total Miles: 20.13 Miles
Well Troy, Marco, Travis, and I headed out to Prentice Cooper WMA. Marco and I had hiked it back in 2009, so this was a make up hike for Troy.
We hiked the outside loop and we did it counterclockwise. It is a good trail with lots of ups and downs. There are a lot of overlooks, wet weather water falls, rock formations, along with a Natural Bridge and a Rock House.
When we headed out they were calling for rain that night and scattered showers the next day. We got a later start on the trail around 10:00am our time. We were just short of the first overlook when we stopped for lunch. The last time we hiked it, we had rain in the morning so we didn't get any overlooks. This time they were beautiful. Ransom Hollow Overlook is off a short side trail and well worth the stroll! Just before we crossed Tower Drive, a group of about ten trail runners passed us heading the other way. After we made sure that they were not being chased by anything bad, we continued our hike. These were the only people we saw in two days.
We made it to camp by 5pm and Travis had a fire going in no time. We set up our camp and got dinner going. No stars tonight, but we got to listen to an owl. The smoke kept us walking in circles as we took cough medicine and told lies. This was Travis's first time to camp in a hammock. Just as I crawled under my tarp, the rain began. It didn't stop until daylight.
We were woke up by the owl as now it was really close to camp. Marco got up and got the fire going. Travis not only survived the hammock, he liked it. We took our time and got on the trail around 9am.
It actually got cooler as the day went on and the first half of it we were wearing our poncho's as the mist was keeping us wet. Raccoon Mountain Overlook is over grown and the valley was clouded in. When we got to the Natural Bridge we got to take off the poncho's and we did some climbing around. The clouds had cleared out pretty good by the time we got to Snooper's Rock Overlook and we got some good pictures from there. We got some pictures of the Indian Rock House and the Stone Door before we headed back up to the cars. Another great hike. We would rate these trails at moderate to difficult.
After we hiked we headed into Powell's Crossroads and ate dinner at the "Open Door" Restaurant. They have really good meat and two dishes. Good Food and Great service.