|Hiking||7.00 Miles|| 5 Hrs || ||1.50 mph|
|1,912 ft AEG|| 20 Mns Break|| || |
This was supposed to be the Barnhardt Loop Trail but given the gloomy skies, the "Car, when dry" warnings, and starting off on the wrong trail we decided to cut the hike short. A word of warning the only trail that is clearly visible at the parking area is the "Half Moon Trail". The Barnhardt and the Y Bar are high and south behind some stands of juniper. We hiked the Half Moon a half mile suspecting that this was not our trail and then when it tried to jump the ridge to the north we headed back a little grumpy.
Once we figured out where the Barnhardt was things went squeaky clean. The canyon is gorgeous and the trail quickly takes a high view of it. Geology buffs must love canyon walls here. There are many areas where you can see how layers of earth fold in each other.
The main set of switchbacks ascending to the falls are like no other. They take you deep into the canyon to where you are swallowed whole by it all it's textures, color, and sounds. Then, on the next switch back you're taken back out to the steep ridge-line for the big expansive views skyline beyond the mouth of the canyon. This repeats countless times, each set of switch of switchbacks revealing more and more of the scenery.
The Falls themselves are actually hidden from the trail so unless you know that your looking for the falls you could pass them right up. We ate lunch admiring them when suddenly it began snowing! I am sure some of you Highlanders call it flurries but for us it was snow. And it was blowing in from the entrance to the protection of the fall's alcove.
The sun warmed us right up on the way back down. Good times! We'll get the loop in some other time.
|The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"|