About 8 miles from Garden of the Gods is another wilderness area known as Pounds Hollow. A wonderfully scenic trail, Rim Rock National Recreation Trail leads around the rim of a rock escarpment, hence its name.
We did not have the benefit of a map, so unfortunately we missed a very interesting portion of this trail. I will have to make another visit to this area. We followed the trail along the ledges on the left side of the trail and came back the same way, thus missing the Ox-Lot Cave and other features at the base of the cliffs.
The wall was built about 1500 years ago and designed to block the only accessible route to the top of the bluff. The rocks used had to be carried from the creek far below at the base of the bluffs.
An old gnarly cedar tree along the trail. Some trees here are several hundred years old.
Trail along the edge of the bluffs.
Another weather-worn cedar tree.
To early settlers this unique formation was known as ‘the Pounds,’ an old English term meaning “some sort of enclosure.” This is how the valley lying to the east got its name, Pounds Hollow.
Steps lead down between the rocks to the base of the cliffs.
We were too curious not to.
Descending the stairs...
Looking back at the sheer cliffs.
A maze of sorts...
Here comes Nan...
Around the corner...
I took the steps to the left, and Nan went straight ahead.
And we ended up at the same place.
We could see that the trail continued to the base of the cliffs and beyond, but we had no information where it went from there or how long or strenuous the trail was, so we decided to go back the way we came.
Nan looks up from whence we came...
Looking down. Wish we'd known about the cave and other formations to see down there.
So here we go back up.
The part we did was fun.
We did know about Pounds Hollow Lake and we drove there next.
There is another National Forest Campground here, so perhaps next time I'll camp here, finish the trail, and do some kayaking.
We found out more information later after from this website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5106385.pdf