Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blue Grotto Canyon - Lewis Road Th @ Lost Creek Lake

April 18, 2016

Just a quick posting on our hike this past Monday.  There is a trail the circles Lost Creek Lake and is about 17 miles in length.  Along this route there are various trailheads which can be accessed for hikes of varying mileage. We started at the Lewis Road TH and hiked along the lake shore to a short side trail which leads up to the Blue Grotto Canyon and Falls. The falls though were a disappointment as there was very little water flowing into the canyon, which surprised both of us.

It was very very hot on Monday, but we enjoyed all the wildflowers and the beautiful views of the lake.  There was also poison oak lining the trail (literally) and we even had a half dozen or so ticks join us for the 4.8 mile roundtrip hike - but we eventually and happily parted ways with them.  Enjoy the pictures.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol
Cat's Ear



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Elk Creek Trail - Homesteader TH

April 16, 2016

We have hiked the Elk Creek Trail a couple of times, always from the Yellow Rock TH.  So to change things up, we headed north (sort of) and started the Elk Creek Trail from the Homesteader's TH.  This trailhead is located just past the 8 mile post marker on Elk Creek Road.

Time for a hike!!
The trail itself is the old Elk Creek Road, which was to be under water when the dam was completed. Since that did not happen, that old road is now an almost 5 mile long trail along Elk Creek that features beautiful meadows, wildflowers, and of course views and side trails to Elk Creek.

The Elk Creek trail/road

The start of the trail from this TH took us through a previous fire burn area and with the clear blue sky for a background, provided some beautiful photos.

Fire burn area along.........
the start of the trail.

Once we came to a locked gate to keep motor vehicles off this trail, we took a left and followed a tire rut trail that eventually took us to the Seven Mile Bend area.  We highly recommend that you take this side trail when you hike here. 

Take this tire rut trail to the Seven Mile Bend area.
The Seven Mile Bend area features some small "beach" areas, a deep swimming hole (which Katie used), some beautiful cascades just upstream from the swimming area, and even a couple of "Pitcairn Cairns".  There are even trash cans available so you can pack in a lunch and spend a few hours enjoying the creek.

The swimming hole at Seven Mile Bend

Katie taking a dip in Elk Creek

Creek cascades just above the swimming hole area.

Pitcairn Cairn #1

Pitcairn Cairn #2

View of Elk Creek from another side trail

We continued hiking the tire rut trail which eventually took us back to the paved road trail.  Over the next few miles we saw various wildflowers, a couple of other hikers, enjoyed the beautiful and green meadows, and made one other side trail trip to the creek.  We did start our hike early today knowing that the forecasted heat would seem even hotter on the pavement. Never hike this trail on a hot day in the afternoon - unless your really like heat.

Beautiful green meadows!
If you get the chance to hike this trail just outside Shady Cove, we highly recommend trying it from the Homesteader's TH and taking the side trip to Seven Mile Bend like we did today.  It would be a very nice place for a lunch, reading a book and/or a swim  -- and of course hiking too.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Lower Table Rock & Oak Savannah Trail -- Amazing Fields of Flowers!!

April 10, 2016

We have hiked Lower Table Rock many times due to it's close proximity and as such, it sometimes becomes one of those hikes that you do when you don't have the time to drive a long distance. So after hiking the Roxy Ann road/loop trail on Saturday and having some other things on the schedule for Sunday, we decided to "fit in" a hike at Lower Table Rock.  That hike turned into possibly a "once-in-a-lifetime" hike to fields and fields of wildflowers.
Everything green and in bloom with Lower Table Rock looming.

Ookow - just a sampling of the beautiful wildflowers on this hike!
The sky was overcast and the parking lot had maybe a dozen cars when we set out on the hike around 9:00 am.  Everything in the fields and along the trail was green or in bloom, which included numerous varieties of wildflowers with names like Houndstongue, Shooting Stars, Blue-Eyed Mary, Buttercup, Ookow, Desert Parsley, Fiddleneck, Bleeding Heart, Sea Blush, Camas, Larkspur, Cat's Ear, Goldfield,  & Saxifrage.
Let the show begin!  The fields of wildflowers start at the plateau.
The highlight though was when we arrived at the plateau -- literally fields of flowers!!!!  These fields consisted mostly of Bi-color Lupine, Rusty Popcorn flowers, Fiddlenecks, and Goldfield.
Fields and fields of wildflower beauty!!

Bi-Color Lupine


View of the trail on the plateau

A close up view of a field of Goldfield
A fellow hiker, who had hiked the trail the previous day, said that the Goldfield flowers had bloomed overnight. It was a real treat and absolutely beautiful!  Words cannot describe the sight and even our pictures cannot convey how beautiful the plateau was.  We have never seen so many flowers on Lower Table Rock before and may not again.

One of only two vernal pools on the plateau that still had water
A field of Bi-Color Lupine
So never take anything for granted.  Even a walk or hike that you have done time and time again.  Hope you enjoy the pictures and take time to get out there yourself & see all the beauty waiting to be seen!!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol