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Sow Hole #7021



1.7 mile 2.7 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 903' 275 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 6,479' 1,975 m
Low: 5,577' 1,700 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)


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Trail shared by Seth Seyfried

An out-and-back trail with views of two canyons that is relatively unknown by humans, but well-trafficked by cows.

Seth Seyfried

Features -none-

You have to cross a shallow river by foot to access the trail.

Need to Know

There is a parking area right before the trailhead. The trail is very heavily used by cattle, so hikers should expect to share the trail with cows and cow patties. Aside from crossing the river, you have to cross the stream bed twice while hiking up the trail.


This is an out-and-back hike up a mountain canyon. It ends at a natural spring that has been developed into a watering hole for cattle.

When we first arrived at the parking area to the west of the trailhead, we went up and down the river trying to find the shallowest crossing. The shallowest spot we could find was just to the east of the parking area along the roadway. The shallowest spot was only 6 inches deep, but since the river was over 10 feet wide, we all ended up with wet feet right at the start of the hike anyway.

Once across the river, we went south through the meadow until the mouth of the canyon. At that point, we came across a cattle gate with an established trail on the other side. About 0.25 miles up the trail, a trail broke away to the southwest. It was signed as Pig Hole Trail.

We continued up the trail. We did the trail in mid-August, so the stream next to the trail was dry. We had to cross the stream bed twice on the way up. Other than those two crossings, there were no real obstructions for hikers.

We brought a very active and friendly 1-year-old dog with us and let him run free of his leash for most of the trail. He was in heaven! However, things got a little tense once we reached the watering hole at the top. There were two calves and their mothers at the watering hole. Our dog immediately raised his shackles and started growling. Even though we immediately put his leash on, he had scared the cows and their calves. They turned and ran. A larger group of cattle might have caught us in their mini-stampede!

Flora & Fauna

We did this trail in mid-August, thus, most of the wildflowers had wilted. The cattle grazing has done a good job of keeping the underbrush knocked down. Quakies and scrub maple provide shade for most of the lower trail, and quakies and pine provide shade for most of the upper trail.

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