There are a few hikes we do every year at the same time of the year. We see the same things, but it is like a warm homecoming to hike a trail we know and love, especially in spring when the hills have dried out.
The upper access point to the Barren Hills is a good place to do this loop in the hills. Directions to the trailhead are found here. The trail gently climbs through the hills on the north side of Batchelor Hill. The grasslands extend north toward Wheeler Mountain.
From the top of the hill, we have fine views in every direction. We hiked between a short morning snow shower and some midday hail, but the sun peeked through the clouds to brighten the hills to our east.
There are few trail signs in the area and there are both single tracks and double tracks so hikers can pick their own route. A track is provided above for those with a GPS. Go in the spring or fall when the weather is cooler in this treeless area. In mid-March we spotted sage grouse, buttercups, yellow bells, lemonweed, and eagles soaring over the hills. The area is quiet and beautiful-in-a-subtle way, a special part of our region.