Saturday, October 23, 2010
SW ~ Cooper Mountain Nature Park 2010
Date visited: October 20, 2010
Agency: Metro/ THPRD
Path Surface: Mostly gravel
Elevation gain/loss: 330 feet
Distance: 2.9 miles as described, 3.5 miles of trails
Ratings: Setting ++++ Calorie-burning ++++
Directions: From Highway 217, take the Scholls Ferry Road exit and go west on Scholls Ferry. At Southwest 175th Avenue, turn right and go north, uphill, about 1.8 miles. Curve left on Kemmer Road. The park entrance is on the south side of Kemmer Road near its intersection with 190th. Or, from Southwest Farmington Road (Highway 10), turn south on 185th Avenue, which will become Gassner Road, turn left on 190th Avenue and left on Kemmer Road. NO PETS ARE ALLOWED.
Orange spray paint? Nope, that really is the color of the trees. Many more trees are decked out in their fall colors and are only slightly less dazzingly against the blue sky (likely one of the last for this autumn).
We originally described this site here following our July 2009 visit. It was much more "birdy" that day. Today's visit was quiet and mid-day. We saw robins, black-capped chickadees, scrub jays, song sparrows, Bewick's wrens, crows, juncos and heard a flicker and a couple of towhees. The best bird moments, however, were seeing both a ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets.
The poison oak present on our original visit has only multiplied, turning a beautiful shade of red now, but just as poisonous!
There's a trail guide at the top, but you don't need to memorize it. Posts at every junction tell you where you are.