Distance: 7.5 km
Elevation gain: 440 mView mapDownload GPS track
This is a remarkably nice shoulder season ridgewalk. We had originally wanted to do Windy Peak Hills
further to the west, but at the trailhead were met with a very strong and cold wind and a surprising amount of snow. Retreating to a lower elevation further east, we decided to hike Indian Graves Ridge.
The trailhead for Indian Graves Ridge is the same as that for Corral Mountain
. Instead of following the old road, however, ascend the south end of the ridge directly to the north of the gate. There is a bit of trail peeling off the road about 50 m from the gate that weaves it's way up, but it really is a choose your own route type of ascent.
Once cresting the ridge (it's much easier than it looks) simply follow the ridge north for about 3 km. While the ridge undulates slightly, the ups and downs are hardly noticeable. The only significant fork in the trail occurs at an old bench a few hundred meters from the south end of the ridge. Here it appears the trail crosses over a fence - in fact, it is quite obvious that a trail does - but you definitely want to stay to the right of the fence if you plan on following the ridgecrest.
Reach the end of the ridge a little over 3 km from the trailhead. To make the hike a loop, descend towards the west, cross the fence at the field visible below (it's a little broken here, making it easier), then continue to descend into the valley. At valley bottom, you can head south down the valley or ascend the ridge to the west. If ascending, you will encounter an old road about 40 m up that will take you back to the trailhead, or you can continue to ascend to the top of the ridge. We ascended to the top, ate lunch on the treed crest, then followed a good animal trail (no bushwacking at all) gently down the ridgecrest to the old road that led us back to the trailhead. Alternatively, from the ridgecrest you can continue further west and descend a gully or another ridge. The options are quite varied!
Regardless of the route you take, you will be connecting up with the old road that forms part of the trail to Corral Mountain. Turn left (southeast) and you'll soon find yourself back at your car.