Photos from this trip can be found here.
The area around Steamboat Rock was surprisingly busy this time compared with a year ago. After arriving at the campground I parked in the main parking lot across from the trailhead. Then the pups and I made our way through the main trail and straight up the rock.
Last time we roamed counterclockwise and traced the rim in its entirety. This time I decided to visit the depression in the southwest corner of the rock first, which we had bypassed the time before due to time constraints. But instead of dropping directly into the depression, I walked around the cliffs above the south edge to see if it was possible to go down by the lake shore. But from what I was able to scope out and by the contour lines on my GPS, the depression cliffed out at the west end so it was a no-go.
Afterward, we scrambled up onto the main area and started roaming clockwise. Glad I noticed the herd of deer at the top before the pups and so I immediately put them on-leash so the herd could eat their meal in peace. This area was quite spacious that we never crossed paths with other groups that we saw from a distance. We made our lunch stop at the northernmost tip, occasionally would see some boaters traveling east around the base of the rock. Still fascinating to think that this entire area actually took shape during the last Ice Age.
After a long break, we continued on and walked along the east rim to close out the loop. By then it was an hour till sunset and it felt as though we were the only hikers left on this giant rock. The nearby deer were busy munching on dinner and paid us little attention as we slowly made our exit.