Grizzly Flat Trailhead, 2N79, Hoyt Mountain, 4.32 miles RT, 3,904' Max Elevation, 912' +/-, July 1, 2018

Today we did a short hike in the front range from the Grizzly Flat Trailhead past the locked gate along 2N79.  2N79 splits off and you can continue northwest to Grizzly Flat or you can follow it north and then east as it makes a turn towards Hoyt Mountain.  The later was our destination.  We’ve hiked this trail many times before because it’s a hot spot for several different species of butterflies.  This was the first time we followed it all the way to Hoyt Mountain.  The trail continues to climb until it reaches a saddle after just a little over two miles.  Here there’s a split to continue on a rugged use trail up to the summit of Hoyt, or you can continue onto the very overgrown Telephone Trail which descends to Clear Creek.  We climbed up on the use trail about halfway to the false summit and decided it was too overgrown and steep to continue.  I was actually more interested in going back down to photograph all the Chalcedon Checkerspots that I saw at the base of the mountain.  I photographed Chalcedon Checkerspots near this area last year, but this year there were so many that they were practically landing on me as I took my photos!  It was about 9 am and the sun was really starting to warm things up.  We decided to descend before it got too hot and finish up the hike with a visit to DISH in LaCanda for some hot coffee, eggs, bacon and my favorite... pancakes!
 

 We started our hike at the Grizzly Flat Trailhead past the locked gate and up 2N79.

We started our hike at the Grizzly Flat Trailhead past the locked gate and up 2N79.

 The road is overgrown and rocky in many places, but it's easy to follow.

The road is overgrown and rocky in many places, but it's easy to follow.

 This area is a great habitat for butterflies.  There's plenty of blooming California Buckwheat and Deerweed.  Here a Bernardino Blue,  Euphilotes bernardino  nectars on California Buckwheat.

This area is a great habitat for butterflies.  There's plenty of blooming California Buckwheat and Deerweed.  Here a Bernardino Blue, Euphilotes bernardino nectars on California Buckwheat.

 Bernardino Blue,  Euphilotes bernardino on Deerweed.

Bernardino Blue, Euphilotes bernardino on Deerweed.

 Mountain Mahogany  Satyrium tetraon on  California Buckwheat.

Mountain Mahogany Satyrium tetraon on California Buckwheat.

 Gold-hunter's Hairstreak,  Satyrium auretorum  

Gold-hunter's Hairstreak, Satyrium auretorum 

 Chalcedon Checkerspot, Euphydryas chalcedona.  There were a lot of these along the route.  Especially at the base of Hoyt mountain just as the 2N79 ends at the saddle and turns into the Telephone Trail.

Chalcedon Checkerspot, Euphydryas chalcedona.  There were a lot of these along the route.  Especially at the base of Hoyt mountain just as the 2N79 ends at the saddle and turns into the Telephone Trail.

 Chalcedon Checkerspot, Euphydryas chalcedona

Chalcedon Checkerspot, Euphydryas chalcedona

 Chalcedon Checkerspot, Euphydryas chalcedona

Chalcedon Checkerspot, Euphydryas chalcedona

 Can you find the Bernardino Blue?  They're about the size of a thumbnail.

Can you find the Bernardino Blue?  They're about the size of a thumbnail.

 Bernardino Blue,  Euphilotes bernardino

Bernardino Blue, Euphilotes bernardino

 This trail is mostly exposed so we headed back early.

This trail is mostly exposed so we headed back early.

lrP1110174-Edit.jpg
lrP1110175-Edit.jpg
 I don't know much about lizards, but I think this may be a California Whiptail.  

I don't know much about lizards, but I think this may be a California Whiptail.