Length: 2.6 miles Time: 5 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous Elevation Gain: 2626 feet
Description: This is a rigorous hike up Shepard Canyon with some steep climbs. A half mile up the canyon it is necessary to cross Shepard Creek, so avoid days with high runoff in the creek. After a steady and steep climb up the north side of Shepard Canyon, the trail joins the Wolverine Trail (#3.1) for the final ascent to Francis Peak (9515 feet) at the top of the mountain where the FAA towers are.
There is a beautiful campsite above Shepard Creek on the south slope of Shepard Canyon. Instead of taking section #9.1 which descends the hillside, continue straight ahead to the east to reach section #9.2. After a couple of hundred yards traversing the hillside through a beautiful grove of trees, the trail ends high above the creek in a pleasant campsite with perpetual shade.
#9.1 Access Location: Section #9.1 can be reached from the top of section #9.3 where the Farmington Upper Terrace Trail - Main Section (#20.1) heads south. The access to section #9.3 is described on page 84.
#9.2 Access Location: This section is a spur off #9.1 that leads to a secluded campsite. Go about a quarter mile up #9.1 to the camp split-off, which is the start of #9.2.
- Enjoy beautiful views west toward the lake.
- This is a great hike and campsite for escaping the sun on hot summer days
- Enjoy a pleasant, shady forest on the side of the canyon.
- Water is available after a short hike down the hillside to the creek.
- Find “The Wall” (POI #8), a cliff face you circle at the base.
- View high portions of Shepard Canyon from the easternmost point.
Trail Surface and Status: This trail is a dirt footpath with steep sections of loose gravel. Be careful!