Departed the trailhead off CR 61, south of Mueller SP, at 8:40. It was quite cool in the shade. The shaded signs show in next shot.
Close-up of left panel is in next shot.
I already had a Habitat Stamp. Note: rock climbing is prohibited.
SWA - State Wildlife Area!
I'd be doing the CCW loop from Dome Rock Parking Area, down Dome Rock Trail and circling back along Spring Creek, then Willow Creek Trail - about ten miles.
[From Skyterrain's "Colorado Springs & Pikes Peak" map - a great resource.]
It's a gentle downhill trail following Fourmile Creek Canyon.
Trail is often well above the creek, but crosses it several times.
However, it's possible to stay on the right (north) side til the final crossing SW of Dome Rock.
The creek was icy in places - and there were scattered snowpatches on the shady south side of the canyon.
Grass is still frosty as the sun starts to hit it.
Hard to see in this image, but our first look at Dome Rock barely shows on the middle skyline. Next shot is telephoto.
Telephoto (3x) shows it better. Most of the exposed dome is on the opposite side from this view.
9:45 - Jackrabbit Lodge ruins. Can you see all that's left - the tall fireplace?
Being Nov. 3rd - I kept going. :)
Coming into view - this is actually an unnamed smaller dome west of Dome Rock, which is hidden on the left at this point (but I was tricked for awhile).
I believe this dome is just outside the Dome Rock SWA (State Wildlife Area).
OK - Dome Rock coming up here on the left. The other dome is on the right, just out of sight.
You can see it's pretty rounded, but fairly level on top.
Passing DR on it's NW side.
On the west side. Looks like some good climbing lines!
Dome Rock (9044') rises about 800 ft above the creek rounding its base.
Aha - my presence startled a band of Bighorn Sheep ahead of me.
I counted about 20 - probably the largest band I've ever seen.
Two rams on left, several ewes and many adolescents. Note several have neck bands.
They definitely keep an eye on you.
A few minutes later - can you spot the sheep high atop the rock wall?
Telephoto - three of them.
OK just passing the SW side of Dome Rock - soon to cross Fourmile Crk and head up the Spring Creek canyon on the right (south) side of it.
You can see the Spring Creek Trail heading out from Fourmile Creek at bottom.
Oh, back at the rock on the opposite side - more sheep. Can you spot them?
Six more sheep.
They do remarkably well without rock shoes, harnesses or helmets!
OK - the trail crossing Fourmile Creek, quite shallow here at this time.
Better to get my thongs wet than my trail shoes.
Getting close to directly south of Dome Rock. According to topo, it should be a gentle approach up the gully on the SE side, not yet showing here, to saddle on east side of DR.
Well, the gully may not be consistently real steep, but it is choked with large rocks. :(
Note: this gully is not evident on the Skyterrain map. It can been be made out on the 7.5 min. topo.
More than half-way up now - having skipped the lower part of the gully by first ascending hillside to its right. Next shot is panning down to the left.
And the next shot continues the pan to lower left.