When the Dewdrop Trail was built, it connected the Dewdrop Range (grasslands and hills) with Red Plateau (forested uplands). The route climbs (lava flow) north-south oriented ridges to the top of the Escarpment. The trail continues along the rim of the Escarpment to various viewpoints. There was once a loop route back then which we had hiked, but decades of erosion and fallen trees have made the marginal downhill trail both invisible and impassable, although we did follow the route recently, a rough scramble all the way down.
In the last few years, though, mountain bikers have created a trail that connects the Dewdrop Trail to existing double tracks on Red Plateau, to the Dewdrop Escaprment Trail (KOC) , and have added some new single tracks that run from the Red Lake Road all the way to Hardie Hill. They have also developed two downhill trails – the Three Amigos Trail and the Dead Coyote Trail (?). We decided to climb up one of the new downhill trails, traverse along the top, and come down the other one, a demanding route.
The western end of the Dewdrop Escarpment has less cliffs and more treed slopes, allowing for these single tracks. The climb up Dead Coyote was an elevation gain of 580m (1902 feet) in 3.1 km, a steep trail on a warm day.
The Three Amigos Trail continues along the rim for 3.2 km with a number of viewpoints along the way. At an unsigned junction along the route, the trail splits. The right trail continues along the Dewdrop Traverse to Hardie Hill for another 9.3 km (one way). The left fork winds down a series of ledges before turning southeast and then starts a 4.7 km descent to the tablelands of the Dewdrop Range. This was an interesting hike and it would be an exciting downhill ride. (video)
At the bottom of the Three Amigos Trail we missed a fork and ended up crossing open grassland slopes back to the lower end of the Dead Coyote Trail, but it is all open in this area so anyone else who encounters the same thing should just continue south to meet the Dewdrop Range Road. At the end of the trail, we looked back up at the cliffs of the Dewdrop Escarpment rising above the Dewdrop Range for 610 vertical meters (2000 feet).
This route is not an easy one. The total distance was about 14.5 km, but it is a good trail system for the most part. Our thanks to those who have blazed these trails. We will be back to continue to explore, the next outing will be along the Dewdrop Traverse from Red Plateau.