I wanted to explore Bell Mountain to check out some potential hunting spots for the Fall. The only option I had to go was last Saturday, and with a high of 93 it wasn’t ideal, but I was out of other options, so off I went. I left the house about 4:30am and I was ready to hit the trail by 6:00.
The FT12 trail head is easy to miss, be sure you are looking out for it.
The forest is obviously thick this time of year, but the trail was in good shape for the most part. There were some overgrown areas, indicating that this trail doesn’t get much use in the summer heat.
The approach to Bell Mtn from the FT12 trailhead is actually fairly flat right up until you approach the summit area of the mountain, where the trail begins to incline moderately.
As you get near the summit, the forest begins to open up into some rocky glades.
The views from the summit area are outstanding. These views face ESE, so it would be a great location to watch a sunrise.
The best way to take a break on the trail…
My plans were going well so far, but as I looked down into the steep approach to the Shut-In Creek valley below the summit I began to doubt my original plan to make that descent. While relaxing in the hammock I talked my self into pressing on as planned; it wasn’t the steep and rocky decent that had me second guessing, it was just unbelievable density of the forest.
I began my descent taking care with every step. A fall here would have left my tumbling and no doubt injured. I made it about half way down the descent and decided to head back up. It was just simply too dense to forge through this time of year. I will have to wait until the fall to get down in there via this route. Here are some pics from heading back up to the summit area…