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A road closure this year may prompt many more poorly prepared hikers to underestimate the rigors of the grueling trail.

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Hell of a hard hike to get to paradise

Fossil Creek Trail lures the ill prepared for a chance to splash in travertine pools

Each year, in that glorious time between the brisk cold of winter and the searing heat of summer, my children and I embark on an expedition down the Fossil Creek Trail to the spring source. One of our favorite trips of the year, we look forward to playing in those magical pools, but also prepare for the trek with plenty of water, hats, lots of snacks and time. Unfortunately, many of the people badly underestimate the rigors of the eight-mile round trip complete with 3,000 feet of elevation lost and then painfully regained. Every weekend, search and rescue teams haul the unlucky or ill prepared up the long, steep trail. This summer could set rescue records, especially if the current closure of Fossil Creek Road prompts even more flip-flop-wearing, beer-cooler toting flatlanders to go slopping down the trail.

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