Devils Backbone Wilderness

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Devils Backbone Wilderness

Postby n3870v » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:04 pm

My wife & I spent 2 days at the Devils Backbone wilderness area this past weekend and had a great time. I had wanted to visit this area for a long time, but the 4 hour drive was usually the reason for not making it a overnighter. We actually took supplies and planned on spending 2 nights, but we all know how planned trips end.

The weather was perfect, cloudy and mid 60's during the day and 50's at night. Started out at the CC trailhead and made our way along McGarr ridge. The dogwoods were still in full bloom and looked great. We took the spur trail down the ridge to Blue Spring and had lunch. We should have left our packs at the top of the ridge, that would have made the trek up a whole lot easier. After climbing back out we headed down the trail, and took the spur trail to the North Fork River, where we spent the night.

Very nice camp site on the banks of the river, all sand, and nice view of the river and cliffs on the other side. A nice dinner, followed by a fire and quiet sunset made for a great evening. The moon was out, and to my wife's liking, so was a Whippoorwill. We were very surprised to see fireflies out this early, but maybe this far south its common.

After breakfast, we left the OT and headed down Crooked creek trail. The plan was to find another place to camp somewhere near the Devils backbone trail intersection. Crooked creek trail is not very well maintained. Lots of trees down, and they have been down for a long time. Several parts of the trail are closed in by brush, and I would imagine that in the summer it would be difficult getting through. There really is no creek, and the trail wonders back and forth through the wash, with ridges on both sides. The ridges are lined with really cool looking rock formations and ledges that appear to be small caves. We reached the Devils backbone trail intersection and dropped our packs for the hike up. After all, why come all the way out here and not hike to the place that it is named after. The top of the ridge is really nice this time of year because you get the views off both sides of the surrounding ridges. If it were summer, the tree leaves would be blocking all the views. Keep this in mind if you plan on hiking here and want to see the views.

We headed back down, loaded up and started hiking and looking for a place to spend the night. We left Crooked creek trail and were now on Mary Hollow trail, but the trail conditions were the same, and looking for a place to pitch a tent was looking ominous. We stopped and had lunch on some rocks in the wash and decided that if we couldn't find a place to camp for the night, that we would just continue hiking and make it a one nighter. If I was by myself, my hammock would have fit anywhere, but a tent for two wasn't going to work for this terrain (or my wife).

The spring wild flowers were beautiful, Phlox, Violets, Wild Geraniums, Orange Puccoon, Columbine, and of coarse May Apples.

We finally made it back to the trailhead about 4:30, and started the drive back. Ticks were out in full force, we were brushing them off of us as we hiked. When I got home, I pulled 3 more off me that managed to dig in. Being April and this many ticks, it looks like a bad year for them.

Bottom line - a very nice area and hike. N3870V

Backbone ridge.jpg
Backbone ridge.jpg (100.61 KiB) Viewed 1128 times
North Fork.jpg
North Fork.jpg (91.38 KiB) Viewed 1128 times
Blue spring.jpg
Blue spring.jpg (69.46 KiB) Viewed 1128 times
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:26 pm

Re: Devils Backbone Wilderness

Postby n3870v » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:10 pm

A few more pics.....
Northern water snakes.jpg
Northern water snakes.jpg (79.22 KiB) Viewed 1127 times

May Apples.jpg
May Apples.jpg (109.63 KiB) Viewed 1127 times

Stream.jpg (122.79 KiB) Viewed 1127 times
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:26 pm

Re: Devils Backbone Wilderness

Postby DirtRoadRunner » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:02 am

Nice pictures and it is a great area. Blue Spring is a favorite place for floaters to stop and jump in - and it is cold! If you head down there again, there are also some pretty nice trails north of CC (including the concurrent Ridge Runner/OT). That section of National Forest has a lot of great hiking (mostly off-trail bushwacking) in it, and lots of nice bluffs, caves, and overhangs due to the exposure of the Roubidoux Sandstone along all of the ridgetops.
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Location: Farmington, MO

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