For years, Devil’s Lake State Park’s “Griegol Gulch” area was just a little-known notch in the Baraboo hills with a small hard-to-reach, willow-clogged, stream at its base. Access was fairly non-existent. Only the most intrepid nature lover or hunter would make the trek.
In 2008 historic floods caused the creek that runs through Griegol Gulch became a raging torrent. The stream tore at its banks and flooded the area causing damage to homes and roadways nearby. By the time it was over, the gulch itself was forever changed. The powerful floodwaters stripped much of the valley floor, replacing the thick, green landscape with outwash deposits of sand and stone. Fallen trees and twisted briar littered the valley. On both sides of the valley, the hills were left barren and scarred. The slopes had been undercut by the rushing water, then collapsed under their own weight. On the tour, we’ll see how the recovery is coming along!
As part of a flood mitigation plan, two important things happened; First, the croplands that surrounded parts of the gulch were restored as wetlands, prairie or oak plantings. Next, the valley floor itself was shaped and replanted. While still hard to get into in the summer due to thick foliage, in winter the gulch becomes a great location for snowshoeing!
This 2-3 hour guided snowshoeing hike involves hilly terrain, 2 stream crossings, low trees and brush to navigate. The payoff is a real “backcountry” experience in a hike just long enough to let the cold soak in before returning to your car with plenty of time to explore more of the park.
Ideal For: Anyone (Kids 8-Up)
Length: Half Day (3-4 hours)
Special Note: This tour is weather dependent. We have at least 6 inches of snow cover on the trail for snowshoes and will not run the tour when temperatures are below zero. Warm clothing is a must! Please email to check on current conditions.
*Per Person Rates