off road driving
dogs on leash
cross country skiing
I went the wrong way at first because the Northface race was happening but once I got back on track it was awesome! Great views with lookout points and benches. Beautiful fall colors! I didn't do the whole trail and ended up using the Spiro Connector to take Dawn's Trail.
We arrived at 6:30 am on Saturday, sept 24th. It was still dark and it was threatening to rain.
The trail was quiet, and venturing into the darkness was exciting.
Trail markers guide the way for the first leg of the journey, and when they stop, following the switchbacks (instead of the small off-shoots) is important.
The trail is steep enough to get your heart pumping. Despite the sky trying to rain, taking my jacket off happened quick.
As we ventured higher, the sun started to rise. We were still in the clouds, but the light was enough to turn off our lanterns.
As we gained elevation and entered the mist, the rain started.
The wind at the top was strong, but the views were amazing. We were high enough to see everything, but the clouds were still blocking most of the landscape.
The sharp rock formations at the top are great for picture taking and climbing around on.
Returning to the car seemed much faster, but the rain started pouring harder as well. My flannel and my pants were soaked through.
This was exactly what I wanted my Saturday to be like.
Awesome trip, little bit short on time it took me 1:20min to the top, started late around 0430pm. Best time for pictures would be around noon to have good light conditions for nice photos. Approx 3/4 of the trail are kind of paved and possible for pretty much everybody eventhough the upslope is kind of steep. Overalle my GPS measured approx 450m in altitude. The view on top is brilliant.
We drove down the night before so we could camp nearby (the first-come-first-serve campsite near the trailhead was full so we found a free primitive site 15 min. north). We got to the trailhead at 9am and got the last parking spot. The trail was beautiful and shaded half the time. The falls were very cool and refreshing! When we got back the parking lot and all along the road was jam packed for free Public Lands day. Normally there is a $5 day use fee and camping is $15/day. Dog friendly although we didn't have dogs I ended up carrying out pet waste. Please "pack it in, pack it out" and Leave No Trace, thanks!