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    David Lott completed Jenny Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    David Lott reviewed Jenny Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    A fabulous trail that can be adjusted to meet your needs and time.

    We hiked the full circle today with side trips to Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls. Hidden Falls is a GEM of a waterfall and very easy to get to. You can hike from the south Jenny Ranger Station, or from the north from the String Lake parking or even right a boat to the base of the falls and just hike up the gorge 1/4 mile. Take your pick.

    Ok, here is my list.
    1. The circle is 7.7 miles but the side routes adds another 1.2 miles
    2. Western side of the lake trail has a moderate climb up to the falls. Otherwise the trail is very easy and well maintained
    3. The Western side has two trails coming from the Ranger Station. The lower trail is closed for restoration.
    4. Get to the parking lot early otherwise you will be doing a hike before you start your hike
    5. The Eastern side of the lake trail is virtually flat and dirt with an occasional rock or root. Very easy
    6. The only treacherous part of the trail is a rock slide area on the west side before you arrive at the falls. The rocks are loose and sharp.
    7. We had deer on the trail with us for over a mile and only left the trail when we arrived at the String Lake creek
    8. The burn area on the west side is sun exposed but offers a lot of diversity in plants which are giving good color right now
    9. The trail is crowded from the southern parking lot to the falls on the west side
    10. Runners use the eastern side

    And Hidden Falls is flowing very very very well. It is worth every step of the trip

    David Lott reviewed Boy Scout Trail

    2 months ago

    I need to find out why this trail is called the Boy Scout Trail.

    This is a fantastic easy trail in the Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest.
    The trailhead is located on the Howland Hill road. The easiest way to locate this road is to locate the Elk Valley Casino on your navigation system. It is on Howland Hill about 1/2 mile from the entrance to the park. Howland Hill starts out as a 2 lane asphalt road and narrows to a one lane asphalt road. At the entrance to the forest, the road turns to gravel. As many have mentioned, it is gravel and weaves between massive trees. There are many pull outs to pass oncoming cars but DO NOT get in a hurry. From the Jediadiah Smith Forest sign to the trailhead is exactly 2.5 miles. It is well marked and the first trail head with many parking areas
    .

    The trail rises 480 feet as you wind thru a grove of massive trees. Several trees are pushing 12 feet or better in diameter. Take time and note the small trees growing on top of old ancients that have fallen. Note several trees with lightning damage. The area is lush with fern, some standing 6 feet tall. Notethe moss handing from many trees. Note the different colors and textures in the bark. The grey ones are oldest. You absolutely cannot understand the majesty of redwoods without getting back in the woods with them. They will humble you. Many of this grove stood when Christ walked the earth. Just imagine.

    The trail drops over the rise down to a small waterfall. It is running but not much but has a wonderful little sound echoing thru the woods. Stop, sit down, listen and reflect what is about you. You then will climb back up 480 feet to cross the rise. So the actual elevation change for the trail is 960 feet. But it is very easy. It all dirt with some root exposures.

    The trail is 5.7 miles long and took us hours just because we took time to absorb the experience.
    Enjoy

    David Lott completed Boy Scout Trail

    2 months ago

    David Lott reviewed Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail

    2 months ago

    Now my 2nd favorite hike in the nation. Sorry, it will be hard to beat the continental divide trail in northern Glacier NP. Due to the drought there were no falls flowing in the valley that we say. Vernal, Illouette and Nevada are flowing however. So let's get to the list.

    Total of 7.4 miles in 5.5 hours. Tough trail is you are not in shape due to the elevation change in the short distance

    1. Arrive early. We arrived at 7am at the public parking lot and it was already over 3/4 full.
    2. The public parking is almost 1/2 mile to the trailhead
    3. There is free shuttle service from all visitor centers so if the parking is full, just back up to another parking area, grab a shuttle and be dropped off at the trail head
    4. the first mile is all asphalt and steep 10% +/- grade. Once you past the first bridge crossing the trail becomes more dirt and rock. However, the trail at one time was asphalt all the way up to Nevada Falls, That residual asphalt is smooth and slippery from sand so be sure your hiking shoes have good soles
    5. Stairs to Vernal Falls. Who made those things/ The last 1/2 mile is practically all stairs and most are 12-18" high.
    6.Vernal Falls is flowing. The pool above the falls is absolutely gorgeous but you cannot swim in it or slid a slick rock slide into it.
    7. From Vernal to Nevada is mostly a rock path that has been laid down. I would not call it stairs but does have steps. Much easier
    8. Nevada Falls is flowing as well.
    9. You can swim the pool at the top of Nevada Falls.
    10. We came down the John Muir Trail which involves nothing more than crossing the bridge above the falls and following the signs to the valley floor. It added about 1/2 mile but the trail was much easier, in the SHADE. but spots of old asphalt were slippery from sand
    11. 2 separate bear encounters on the John Muir at less than 10 yards each. They were on the side of the trail eating acorns and could care less we were just yards from them.
    12. Despite being the 2nd week of Sept, it was very busy coming down. People waited until late morning and it was a solid ant line of people coming up. However, most were visitors from other countries.

    Enjoy

    David Lott reviewed Lake Aloha Trail

    2 months ago

    Ok. Let's start the list

    1. 6.5 hours for 12.41 miles on a artificial knee celebrating my 62 birthday
    2. It is a moderate trail, only hard for those not accustomed to long treks or wearing the wrong shoes
    3. Get there early if you want any decent parking spot. We arrived before 7am and still had to park up the hill.
    4. Parking at the marina is only for 4 hours
    5. It is dog friendly - we passed a few dozen dogs today. Be sure your fur friend is use to rocks
    6. Aloha Lake is very low but the lower end is still holding water. The low water exposes a lot of rock formations which adds to the value
    7. We had animal encounters - one small black bear - one mini bear (aka chipmunk) who felt he was obliged to check out our pack, our pants, our shirts, anywhere to find food
    8. Take water - We took 4 quarts and used it all for 2 people
    9. The trailhead starts at Echo Lake dam where the check-in point is
    10. It is difficult to find the place to begin with so check you maps well

    Now this really is the tale of 3 trails
    1. The lower section travels along Echo Lake and Upper Echo Lake. It is mostly in trees. Mostly sand and small rock. Changes elevation very little as it follows along the shores. You will also walk behind a number of cabins which are interesting in the fact they are built there to begin with. The lakes are beautiful and offer different views depending on the sun and time of day
    2. The climb - This middle section of the trail is rock, rock, and more rock. The rock is jagged in many areas which will bruise your feet if you not wearing good shoes. The climb is standard 2-3% forestry grade and not hard. Just a lot of rock. It is open but has a lot of interesting cedar tree formations growing in crevices. Just as you start the ascent up to the pass, you get the best views of Echo Lakes by far.
    3. The top - fairly easy walk thru trees as you top out of the pass and start a slight descent into the Aloha basin. The rock is glacial and definitely different from the ascent. Trees are massive. We are puny in comparison. Once you arrive at Aloha, trails go every which direction, just stay to the right. The lake is low now so you need to go another few hundred yards down the shoreline to find open water. Majestic and grand views in all directions.

    Enjoy.

    David Lott completed Lake Aloha Trail

    2 months ago

    David Lott reviewed Mills Lake via Glacier Gorge Trail

    2 months ago

    Ok, I now have a new favorite trail. We intended to go past Mills Lake up to Black Lake but nature said otherwise. We passed Mills and turned around at Jewel Lake as a thunderstorm set in on us. Nevertheless, we loved the trail. Many majestic views up and down the valleys. Aspen are starting to take on color. The waterfalls and cascades in Glacier Gorge were running well due to the rain the last few days. The trail is steady up but not difficult. Just take your time and enjoy.

    David Lott reviewed Deer Mountain Trail

    2 months ago

    We hiked this trail this morning arriving around 8 am and came down just prior to noon. The trail is wide and well used. There are a number of switchbacks. People going before us have chosen to cut corners on the switchbacks which are very bad trail manners. We met 2 couple on the trail that had lost their way by following some of the corners. Please do not cut corners on switchbacks. The trails are built at a nominal 3% grade to save the trail from excessive erosion. Cutting corners destroy!. The trail provides spectacular views in all directions particularly up the top. Please be aware that the saddle between the two peaks is deceiving to some as it is all sand and it looks like the trail goes in many directions. Pay attention. The aspen were in full color at the top which provided very nice picture backgrounds.

    David Lott completed Deer Mountain Trail

    2 months ago

    David Lott reviewed Emerald Lake Trail

    2 months ago

    Hiked this trail on Monday of the Labor's Day weekend "with a million of my fellow hikers". It was perhaps the busiest trail I have every traveled but I hope to blame this on the holiday weekend. It is a rather easy out and back trail passing 3 lakes. The scenery is spectacular. The trail is well maintained and not beat up like many trails we find in New England. This is a great starter trail for the area but be warned that the Estes Park Visitor Center also directs everyone to this trail.

    David Lott completed Emerald Lake Trail

    2 months ago