Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The given distance from the "Rainbow Falls Trailhead" to "Rainbow Falls" is given as 1.3 miles. I'd sure the distance from the trailhead to the "Resort" is over 1/5 of a mile each way, so it's about three miles, roundtrip.
Sadly, this is becoming a recurring theme across much of the West.
Also not surprising was the size of the crowd at the waterfall viewpoint.
But, what was just a little surprising was the number of selfie-obsessed hikers. Yes, that's becoming less surprising as time goes by. It used to be, you'd hike for the view, the experience, and, yes, to document what your experience.
Again, on that trail, I ended up having to back up on go well away from the chain and trail on several occasions, not because I was blocking the way initially, but because so many people had crowded on the other side of me that now the people coming up had no where to safely get away from the narrow point of the trail.
I suppose that's to be expected by some people, who clearly walk the way they drive. Doesn't mean all, or even most, hikers and drivers are idiots. But when you get enough at one spot, yeah, I can get grumpy.
Point being, I suppose, is that this is a better walk for a less crowded day. But it is definitely scenic, and I can not fault anyone who's on a limited schedule to want to take these walks while they're in the area. It's just a warning, if you don't like crowds, that you might want to schedule your hike here, accordingly.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Depending on how early you get there, and/or if you're willing to pay a rather steep parking fee, you can either park right near the shuttle boarding area or park a mile or more down the hill. I don't recall if they had shuttle buses to take you from the ticket/boarding area down to the more remote lots on the Mammoth side of things.
From the bottom, it's a short, steep 1/8 mile or so to the top of the Postpile. Polished by glaciers, it looks a bit like tile. A small but oldish pine tree grows from out of it's surface. I photographed that same pine tree the last time I was here, about 20 years ago.
Once rejoined with the trail, it again seemed longer than it should to get to the trail split.
We rode to Stop 10, where my wife could sit and relax, and I could use the restroom, then drop back down towards the trail to Rainbow Falls. But that's the subject of my next blog. ;D
Also passed their POW/Veterans Memorial, which are some flags and rocky plaques, near Von's.
Of course, by the time I got back to the motel room, it was getting dark. Still, I enjoyed the glow of those clouds I saw on the way back.
Friday, September 23, 2016
You cross over the tunnel and enjoy expansive views to your southeast and southwest.
Personally, I prefer to stay on the Charlie Turner Trail all the way up to that split. It's a nice, easy climb, and I enjoy the longer, less strenuous climb.
Once at the split, I'm not sure which way is faster. For me, the deciding factor is usually based on which side is shaded, and whether I'm hot or cold.
Return the way you came. About eight miles, roundtrip.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
This trailhead is off of Mount Wilson Road, just a 1/2 mile or so south of Red Box Junction. You make a sharp right turn off the road, and head up a bit to a parking area, outside a locked gate.
Monday, September 19, 2016
The BLM entry for Fossil Falls is here,if you have any questions about location or scientific and cultural significance.
The trail heads east, then south from the parking area. It's mostly well-defined, except for when it crosses over lava rocks (of which, yeah, there's a lot of that). There's no real "end" to this, either. The trail leads to what you can think of as the "head" of the "falls."
I'd probably driven by this place a dozen times or more (I mean, as the driver) without curiosity getting the better of me. But, last year, I met up with some friends in the White Mountains during the Perseid meteor shower (hiked the Ancient Bristlecone Forest that year). They stopped on the way back to LA, and shared some pictures.
So, I still need to blog my last two hikes, as well as some from back in July!
Hike 2016.041 -- Wildcat Canyon and Northgate Peaks Trails, Kolob Terrace Road, Zion National Park, UT
All three hikes were relatively short, however. This one was to be expected, as I needed to drive up from the Los Angeles area, and I rarely get as early a start as I'd like.
The road is somewhat winding, and the speed limit is 35mph through most of it. I saw at least two sheriff's vehicles on my drive, and one person getting a ticket, so keep that in mind during your drive.
From the parking area, you start off walking through a place that alternates between ponderosa pine forests and open meadow.
You pass only two trail junctions along the way. At the first one, you basically go straight, or leftish (right is the Connector Trail, towards Hop Valley trail). At the second, you turn a sharp right (left would take you down the "Subway" trail, which requires a permit and careful planning).
here. That seems like a really comprehensive repository of Zion hiking information.
As noted previously, this was my "Friday" hike last week. The next day, I did the Angels Landing trail, then the Pa'Rus trail. It was a pretty decent overnight to Cedar City trip.