Backpacking in Kisatchie NF {Video}

About the Trail

I think one of the great pleasures of backpacking is the Quiet. And I don’t mean the absence of noise because there are plenty of birds, wind, and my footsteps. What I mean is the quieting down of things and people vying for attention. When walking none of this matters. I am only with myself.

In this trek I put together three trails: the Backbone, Caroline Dormon and part of the Sandstone Trail. The 28 mile loop follows the ridge to the north and goes through the bottomland forests to the south.

The Backbone trail, where I started, cuts through the middle of an area that suffered from the 2010 Wrangler fire. The charred trees, saplings and open canopy all attest the fire. However the open space attracts many birds and I was accompanied by birdsongs most of the time I was on this trail.

The Sandstone trail is open to ATV’s as well as horses. The track is wide and sandy. Many areas have been turned to large puddles by the ATV’s. I tried walking through the damaged areas but my feet remained soaked for too long and eventually developed a blister from allowing them to stay too wet for too long. Had I let them dry my right foot would have been fine.

I followed the Caroline Dormon Trail north through the bottomland forest back up to the ridge where the Backbone trail begins. These forests are beautiful. They are full large old trees and wide open spaces. The light allowed by the canopy is magical.

I look forward to returning here in the future

GPS Tracks & Maps

This is an interactive map. Click the lines and icons to learn more about them. The trails have elevation profiles, tree coverage details and other interesting information. By opening this map in Caltopo you can view and download the GPS tracks as standard GPX or Google KML files. It is also possible to print topographic maps at any scale.

The orange section is the area affected by the 2010 Wrangler fire.


I love this magnificent tree.


A portion of the trail.


Backbone Trail blaze.


A view of the forest.


A quiet river.


Painterly water reflections.


Fire protection.


Vine and blaze just seem to go together.


Bottomland forest view.


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