Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pine Creek, Huckleberries, and such

Another week, another hike.
This week took me to Pine Creek, one of the most popular hikes in the Paradise Valley area.  Everyone has been raving about it, so I figured it was a must.

It did not disappoint.

The hike begins at a campground of the same name, and zig-zags across Pine Creek, following it up into the mountains.  At a couple of points there are falls you cross, and the path is full of switch backs, making what would be a pretty steep climb much easier.  Here are the first set of falls and second sets of falls, respectively, which I actually visited with my parents.

From the second photo you can see the bare rocks at the top of the canyon-the endpoint of the climb.  It is only a total of 5 miles, but it took quite a while.  Along the way there were ripe berries everywhere, which was nice since I did not pack any food besides some peanuts.  Thimble berries, raspberries, and the elusive wild huckleberry gave me a nice energy boost and also made me nervous since Mr. Bear absolutely loves berries.  Luckily he was absent, or maybe talking to myself and whistling scared him off before I could even see him.

Along the way I disturbed a family of grouse.  The babies were distressed since they could not really fly yet, so they just ran around and cooed.
And finally, I neared the top.  It is kind of hard to see, but that is a waterfall on the left side of the picture.  It empties into the first of three lakes at the top, this being the lowest one.
Here's the second lake.
The third and highest.  At some point I need to come up here to camp for a night and catch some fish.  How cool would that be?
On the way out I stopped for a while just to check out the valley.  This is why it is called Paradise Valley.

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