Dolly Sods Wilderness Area (summer)
When you look out of your window in our cabins it's easy to get lost in the view of Mount Porte Crayon, an extension of the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. It's that majestic view that entices so many of our guests to take an afternoon to explore Dolly Sods properly. For the same reason on one such summer afternoon, my good friend, Jeff Green of Green Studios, and I set out for the Sods.
Through trial and error, I've discovered that the easiest way to get to Dolly Sods' entrance is by starting on Bonner Road (8 miles) rather than the commonly used Laneville Road (6 miles). The first few miles of Laneville has several switchbacks and narrow bits where encountering oncoming cars is difficult. Bonner on the other hand is a smooth and scenic road that will empty you onto Laneville after all of the bad parts (right hand turn at end). When you cross the South Fork Red Creek bridge you've officially crossed over into the Wilderness.
The Dolly Sods Wilderness Area rises to an elevation of 4,770 feet, one of the highest points on the Eastern Continental Divide. The area is full of hiking trails, camping areas and mountain ridges with views from the top of the world. Simply the drive from one end to the other will leave you feeling as if you drove through another planet. Though beautiful, the area isn't without peril. Dolly Sods disclaimer signs have the unique distinction of warning you of your impending death by both live bombs left over from WWII training and by bears native to the area.
Bombs and bears aside, Jeff and I had enough time this afternoon to stop at all of the best vantage spots on the road and take in the breathtaking mountain range all around us. We plan to return in the spring to give a more complete description of the trails and such but for now enjoy the pictures from the trip.
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