Skeleton Cliff Loop

Getting There
The starting point and parking area for this route is at the most eastern end of the Rims on Black Otter Trail (road).  From the Airport roundabout: travel east on Airport Road for 1.35 miles.  Turn right on Swords Park Drive (entrance to Rims).  From the intersection of Main Street and Airport Road: Travel west on Airport Road for 1.48 miles.  Turn left at Swords Park Drive.

On Swords Park Drive, go straight until hitting the “T” intersection (about 1/10th of mile… if you drive off the rims, you’ve gone too far 🙂    Turn left onto Black Otter Trail.  Follow the road to the “Yellowstone Kelly” parking area (about 0.9 miles).  This is a dirt parking lot with a communications tower on the SW side.

The Route
The starting point is the parking area.  This route begins by walking past the metal blockade crossbars in following the paved Black Otter Trail Road to the NE (which has been blocked to vehicle travel.)   Follow the paved road as it bends right, through the trees to the NE.  There is a gradual downward slope about the first 4/10ths of a mile as the paved road continues to the left.  At this point you will pass the return point for this route on the left which is blocked by metal guard posts. Continue forward (east) on the paved road, following it as it joins the improved paved trail.  You will follow this trail as it wraps to the left around the hill, northward, sloping down, then eventually to the west.   As you come around and down the hill, the paved trail hooks to the right but our hike takes us “off-road” to the left (see item B, both images above).  This section begins at the dirt trail to the left of a cleared area at the end of the paved “hook”.  In just about 10 feet of entering the trail, veer left (see arrows in image above). Continue on this dirt trail along the base of the hill as it begins a gradual upward climb. About 100 yards up this trail, you will begin to come across loose rock and soil.  BE CAREFUL as this is also where the grade begins to steepen to a nearly 30 degree incline (image C).  Climbing to the top of the hill, you will reach a point you’ve been before.  Turn right and return along the paved path… BE SAFE!

trail guide1.jpg

trail guide2.jpg

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