Holy Canoli! I must have been out of my mind doing this hike....what an adventure!
This was my first time mixing rappelling into a real hike...sort of a virgin voyage for me. My two hiking compadres made sure I completed the WHOLE thing! I suggested a couple of times that I would be happy just waiting for them....but that wasn't going to work. We rappelled and swam all five pools, slid down the slide, did the bypass route where appropriate coming out and climbed up the rest of the pools......amazing. It was a solid day of hiking, probably 10 hours worth. Feeling pretty battered today, lots of scratches but thankful to not have a poison ivy rash from head to toe.
We saw one large fresh bear print that sort of had me edgy each time I passed through this one area. There are two pictures of the bear's footprint, it's a healthy one for sure!
A special and public thanks to those that have gone before me and written such excellent trail descriptions. Amazing job from all who contributed... although it felt more like 10 miles not 5!
For me this hike was stepping it up a notch from anything I have ever done. It was a beautiful day, not bad humidity wise, water temps and levels were perfect, nice cloud cover, one big crack of thunder but not a drop of rain. We did run out of water about an hour or two before exiting. The road had been freshly groomed so the 4x4 drive was much easier than others have described.
I think it's time to treat my feet to a pedicure! Pictures after that!