|979||North Rim Trail
Savage Gulf Natural Area
August, our new pup, is now 8 1/2 months old. After a recent vet visit, it was determined that he was big and strong enough for a backpacking trip. However, the vet and her assistant sort of snickered when we said Augie was going to carry his own pack for the first time. Hmmm, we never really thought about Augie not wanting to carry the pack. It was Jake's (our old Golden) hand-me-down bag and he got excited each time we fitted the pack on him. Would this pup be any different? Honestly, we did not know what to expect from him. As he is still developing, we are often times surprised by his behaviors. We were still going to let him carry the pack, but we were prepared to change plans, if necessary.
Arriving at the Savage Gulf Trailhead, we fitted Augie with the pack. He shouldered it proudly and soon was walking and exploring every inch of the trail. He never seemed to want to remove the pack, but it did take a while to get used to the extra girth. Often times he scraped a too close tree or bush with the saddle bags. He then looked back to see what was getting him. Overall, it was about as good of an experience as we could have imagined.
Once at Hobbs Cabin, we explored a bit, set up camp, fetched water, and played with the dog. It was a good day.
A few North Rim Trail notes ...
Our total distance to Hobbs Cabin was 8.60 miles.
We followed the trail along the rim over the Savage River, even though it was a bit longer than the plateau trails.
The route was: Savage Gulf Trailhead to Savage Day Loop (1.0 mile), turn left on Loop to South Ridge Jct (.20 mile), turn right to continue around the Loop to Meadow Creek Bridge Connector (1.0 mile), turn left on connector to North Rim and North Plateau Jct (.30 mile), left on North Rim Trail to Mountain Oak Trail (2.50 miles), continue on North Rim Trail to Hobbs Cabin Side Trail (3.50 miles), side trail to Hobbs Cabin (0.10 mile). The camping area is a short distance beyond the cabin.
The view of Savage Falls was great and worth the extra walk.
Most of the viewpoints were on the trail.
There were many creek crossings. Most were on bridges, unless you have a dog. He preferred to wade across the streams.
It was warm the day we hiked. In the summer there would be more shade but the humidity would also be higher.
The trail was basically easy. An overall rating of moderate is probably deserved for the route to Cabin, mainly because of the length.
We met a few hikers on the Savage Day Loop section of the trail, and then one hiker on the North Rim Trail and a few more at Hobbs Cabin. The trail was not crowded.
There were 8 campsites at Hobbs Cabin with a privy in the middle of the camping loop. The sites seemed well spaced.
Behind the cabin is a side trail to the spring. I filtered water from the spring to fill up our bottles and then filled a collapsible bucket from the nearby stream to use in camp.
The privy was in better shape than most. There is also a privy near the cabin we did not use it though.
Campers may also stay at the cabin. We chose to bring a tent instead.
This was Augie's first night outside. It was an adventure into itself. More on the camping later!
The North Rim, South Rim, and Big Creek Rim were all very similar trails.
If arriving late to the trailhead, camping is available at Savage Gulf Trailhead, Savage Falls, or Dinky Line (off the North Plateau Trail).
Augie during a break
The North Rim Trail was a very enjoyable hike and a good dog hike.
Happy North Rim trails
Savage Gulf Natural Area (official site)