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Bike Around the Lake

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Howard Prairie Lake
Howard Prairie Lake is 6 miles long and 1 mile wide.

On Friday, September 2, 2005, I decided to look for a trail around the lake. Trail riders on horses ride around the lake all the time so I should be able to do it on a mountain bike, right? The trail around should be only 15 - 20 miles too. I found that the trail from the resort, south to Willow Point Campground and beyond to Klum Landing Campground was very nice, wide and no boulders or logs to jump.

The photo to the right was taken at the southern most point of the lake looking north toward the resort about 4 miles beyond the cattle. The cattle are free range so have easy access to the lake. Some have even visited the resort but I haven't caught them yet.

Free range cattle are taking advantage of lake access
Looking north toward the marina

The view above is from Klum Landing Campground on the eastern side of the lake just before and south of the dam. The resort is across the lake just over my left shoulder.

In the photo to the right, I'm about to ride across the dam. The dam is constructed of large boulders and dirt. As I was riding across, I noticed that water was still draining for irrigation. I was told about two weeks ago that Hyatt Lake would be drained while Howard Prairie draining would stop. Apparently the irrigation program has not switched to Hyatt Lake yet.

Approching the dam
Steep ramp to the overflow chute I walked the bike down into the spillway area. A measuring device is located on the side wall which will measure the amount of water above the rim in the spillway chute.
This is the entrance to the spillway chute. When water in the dam reaches this level it will begin spilling into the chute and into the Grizzly Creek bed below. Lake Overflow chute
  Overflow chute Once the lake is high enough to provide water for the chute, it will rush down this spill into the Grizzly Creek bed below.

Once past the dam area, the trail becomes very rough and unmanageable for a bicycle. A horse would not have a problem with this terrain but this is far too technical for my riding ability.

The resort marina, below, is only about a quarter mile across the lake at this point.

Look steep? It IS steep.
View across the lake to the marina
I'm approaching the end of the lake where a small amount of water still flows into the lake. Fortunately, the ground has Nearing the end of the lake
  Creek Crossing to circle the lake

hardened and I don't have to walk through mud.

Once I cross these few rocks, I will have crossed to the other side of the lake, the resort side. That will put me only about 1 mile from the resort and home. This has been much more difficult than I expected. I carried plenty of drinking water but no food and since this trip took much longer than expected ... I'm hungry. I'll do this again as far as Klum Landing Campground. That was nice single track riding and Morgan can go with me that far.

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