hiking
5 days ago

My wife and I hiked this path without reading other reviews or doing any research. The [my] decision was solely based off the official NPS map and its descriptions. Sure it was in the difficult section but it was harder than I imagined. Some context, we live in zero elevation coastal town, work in offices, and exercise a lot less than we should. Our hike started around 9:30am in early June. Went clockwise and had a blast the first 3.4 miles. Had a short lunch at the canyon wash marker sign. Our last picture taken (fun, free-spirited, enjoyment mode) was at the white steps before the trail sign that split to the canyon spur. This is when the ascent began. The trail was iffy in some spots but eventually finding the cairns we were able to press forward. I am now familiar with the terms switchbacks and scrambling. So many times I thought we were going to climb out of this canyon only to see a never-ending uphill in front of us. To the person who put the "trail" sign there, thank you. The few times we were able to find shade under an outcropping we took it. I thought the breach was going to be a narrow flat canyon on the map. Nope. At about 3 o'clock on the trail clock face the scrambling ended and it just became a gradual upward climb, then down, then up and down. We brought 6 liters of water but ran out. Probably poor rationing and inexperience is the main cause of this. It was easily 95 degrees for most of the hike. While we were properly equipped, this trail was physically and mentally challenging for us. Luckily I was able to keep a positive outward appearance to my spouse. I told her a couple of times, please yell at me when we get to the car - not in the middle of this hike. Many times I swear I heard cars thinking the end was near to only later find out it was the wind rustling through the distant trees. In the beginning of the hike the screaming bugs (youll know what i mean if you hiked this trail) caught me off guard and had me swatting at them. By the end I could not care less and was focused only on continuing to put one foot in front of the other. Finally seeing a real car was such a welcome site. We made it out and I nearly drown my self in water in the car. We finished at around 5:30pm and the total hike was in the 8 hour mark.

All negatives aside I am happy we did it and conquered it. To the inexperienced, please pass or prepare better. I would say there are many better views in the park than this trail. A high effort to lower reward hike. If I could do it over I would have hit the overlooks and all other scenic easy trails and left this loop for another visit. This is a beautiful park which has had a profound impact on me and I cant wait to return.