North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook Big Loop
By MikeHikes on 9/20/2023
Distance: 9.50 Miles Duration: 5 hours
Leg 1 - Bell's Trailhead > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail (S) > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend Trail > service road (ENE) > Cougar Overlook 6.3 miles
Leg 2 - Cougar Overlook > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail (N) > South Slick Rock > North Slick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > North Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead 3.2 miles
Temps stared at 72, ended at 92. Sunny with steady 10-15mph SSW breeze.
Easy hike along dry to muddy in spots trails that were relatively easy to traverse. Vegetation has grown and in a few places, the vegetation is fairly high.
There were rains last week and it shows (photo attached)! The North Concho River has more water in it but it is NOT flowing so there are still dry patches between watering holes. The water near Shady Trail is definitely up from a few weeks ago and I watched a beaver glide along as well as numerous large fish and turtles. Other areas along the trails that had been dry now have watering holes and ponds. Unfortunately, they will probably dry up sooner than later as there is no rain predicted for the near future. Of note was the appearane of a VERY large feral hog soon after I started hiking on Dinosaur Trail. He saw me at a distance and took off running across the open field so although there was no danger to me, it was disheartening to see the hog in the first place.
Info kiosk and a bicycle repair station are available at Bell's Trailhead. Water and shade available in the nearby campground.
Water, shade and an info kiosk are available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area.
Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station are available at Cougar Overlook.
Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets are available at the River Bend Campground.