Tuesday, June 13, 2017

(Not a) Hike of the Week : Umtanum Creek Trail


Today was a REST DAY. So we didn't go for a hike. We just went on a brief stroll. Honest.

We started at the Umtanum Recreation Area, parked, and then made our way to the bridge.


I love the fact that the bridge has NO VEHICLES physically incorporated in the barrier.


We headed across the bridge ... it's quite swingy and bouncy.



We did get some nice views of the river from the bridge:



We first set off up the wrong trail -- I'm sure it would have been a nice trail, but it would also have been a proper hike. And we were just out for a little stroll, okay?


So we retraced our steps, and set out on the correct trail. Amusingly, the WTA.org description actually says, "Very soon, after passing through a patch of vegetation, the view of the canyon opens up and you will see a large information board on your right and an obvious trail ahead, bearing left. Do not take this one, as it leads away from the creek and uphill. Instead, take the less clear trail to the right immediately after the information board. Soon the trail becomes clear and follows the creek upstream."

This is the "less clear trail":


And here's that trail again, now clear and headed upstream:


Now, remember, this isn't a HIKE. It's a rest day, dammit. So shhhhh.


We meandered along, just admiring the trees and the flowers and the creek. 


We had hoped to see bighorn sheep on the hillsides above us, but found none.


Large stretches of this trail reminded me of our Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike -- after reaching the bottom of the canyon, but before getting to Phantom Ranch.


There were a couple of spots where we could probably have forded the river, but instead we just carried on.


We found a spot to sit in the sun and enjoy the view, and then headed back.


Under the railroad tracks -- really glad no train was coming while we were here!


And back across the bouncy, swingy bridge.


How far did we hike? DON'T CALL IT A HIKE. We just spent a nice hour or so gently strolling by a creek. Honest.

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