Saturday, January 07, 2023

Falls Creek winter hike

Falls Creek

The Yak-Trax worked well in the crusted snow

The "minor" falls where we had lunch

Steamboat Mountain above the trailhead

The "Big" Falls Creek Falls

 I really do prefer cross country skiing in winter to hiking.

But, with this warm weather the snow has melted along the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Front, and been replaced with ice.

It was time for the Yak-Trax and hiking was possible on the fifth day of the year.

We settled on the relatively short hike to Falls Creek off the Dearborn River south of Augusta on the edge of the Scapegoat Wilderness.

It's just over a half-mile to the giant falls and another three-quarters of a mile to the smaller, yet beautiful lower falls.

There are numerous other small falls all along this creek.

We had an overcast day with virtually no wind.  The temperature was about 25 degrees.

The air was somewhat fouled by some slash burning going on across the creek where there are high-end recreation cabins.

We were not disappointed by either of the falls, although the red and green "Glacier" shales were muted by the overcast.

There were signs that many others had done this trail ahead of us, and there was an old set of cross country ski tracks.

We occasionally punched through snow, but there were many sections of the trail without snow.

We stopped for lunch at the smaller falls, and then went up the trail to where there is a major creek crossing, and there we turned around and headed back.  The creek was running quite high, possibly from the snow melt.

The trip took about 4.5 hours at a very leisurely pace.

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