Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hike 2016.032B -- Rainbow Falls from Red's Meadow Resort

Hiked Saturday, July 2. 3 miles. After catching the shuttle bus from stop #7 (walk to your left after you reach the road to find the stop) to stop #10, I left my wife at the "Resort," then wandered on down to Rainbow Falls.

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.
This trail quickly brought me into an area that had clearly burned, not too long ago. There were standing snags and many downed logs. It wasn't quite as dramatic as Yellowstone after those great fires, but there were a LOT of dead trees.

Sadly, this is becoming a recurring theme across much of the West.
This being the Fourth of July weekend, I expect this trail was even more crowded than it normally is. It was an almost continuous flow of people, including many that were not dressed as you would expect even a casual hiker to be dressed. Many were also somewhat elderly and/or hobbled, yet, there they were, slogging their way to Rainbow Falls.
Given the modest distance and lack of significant altitude change, I suppose this should not be too surprising.

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.
What's changed is that the documentation now must include a picture of yourself, in front of the scene. And it can't just be a snapshot. There was one self-obsessed twit who literally spent 7-8 minutes, standing right were anyone would need to stand to take a shot of the falls, posing, snapping, reposing, snapping, reposing, snapping, etc., etc. Sadly, I do mean the 7-8 minutes, literally. That's just selfish.
Then again, I also saw selfishness on my recent hike to Angels Landing, where, at places where you would have to wait because you can only pass one at a time along narrow sections, rather than seeing people coming up, seeing I was waiting, and waiting for the oncoming group I was waiting for to clear. People would push pass me, get about ten feet, then realize they couldn't proceed.
Well, after 5, 10, or 12 people do this, now the folks coming up the opposite direction have no where to go, either. Increased gridlock.

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.

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