Thursday, July 19, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 38: Triangulation Peak

Triangulation Peak @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

On July 2nd (wahoo, I’m caught up to early July!), my four kids, Holly, Ivy, and I drove to Triangulation Peak, unsure of what the weather would hold or whether we’d have a view.

When we hiked this trail two years ago we had difficulties finding the trailhead, but we found it without problems this time around (though the road itself is rough).

When we hiked this trail two years ago it ended up being one of our favorite hiking experiences, even though we were missing the two most exciting parts of the hike, Mt. Jefferson and Boca Cave. This year we had the mountain view and we visited the cave (a highlight of all our hiking adventures), but Triangulation Peak itself was less green and lush due to the recent fire in the area.

When we hiked this trail two years ago Lola was only 5 and struggled to hike to the top, but she’s a hiking pro this year (though she hasn’t lost the attitude).

Below you can see some of the fire damage on the left. Can you see the child climbing on the rock in distance?

Triangulation Peak 3 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We didn’t know until we hit the summit whether we’d be able to see Mt. Jefferson due to the clouds, but check this out. It was right there. I may have wahooo-ed. [“When was the last time you went wahoo?” “I’m sure I don’t know.” Ha!]

Triangulation Peak 7 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Triangulation Peak 44 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesTriangulation Peak 5 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

This hike has a 360 degree top-of-the-world view like Iron Mountain, but unlike Iron Mountain it feels very remote, isolated. No platform built on the top of the peak for viewers. Just wilderness. I think I prefer Triangulation Peak.

Triangulation Peak 4 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

After playing around and eating lunch at the summit we set off to find Boca Cave, not entirely sure where we were going.

We found what we were pretty sure was the trail and descended into the charred underworld. At least that is what it felt like. So much dust and ash.

Triangulation Peak 11 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Triangulation Peak 10 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Mt. Jefferson stayed in view as we descended the steep and slippery path.

Triangulation Peak 8 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We rounded the corner, saw the looming rock formation, and then magicalness (as Levi would say).

Triangulation Peak 15 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We stayed in the cave for a long time, savoring the novel experience. The kids did a bunch of climbing. I took a gazillion photos looking out of the cave.

Triangulation Peak 14 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesTriangulation Peak 13 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Boca Cave was definitly one of the big highlights of our hiking adventures this year.

Triangulation Peak 17 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

After quite some time we headed back up before we could head down the main trail.

Triangulation Peak 18 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Triangulation Peak 9 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We enjoyed more views of Mt. Jefferson in the increasingly sunny day.

Triangulation Peak 19 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesTriangulation Peak 20 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We noticed the contrasting lush green and wildflowers on our way down the trail.

Triangulation Peak 21 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesTriangulation Peak 23 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesTriangulation Peak  2 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Check out the spikes on the topside of these leaves!

Triangulation Peak 22 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Triangulation Peak remains a favorite. Over 4.5 miles and more than 1,000 feet in elevation gain (though I’m not certain that includes the Boca Cave trail).

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 37: McDowell Creek Falls (again)

McDowell Creek Falls Sun and Swim @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

June 29th was my fifth hike at McDowell Creek Falls this year. It’s one of my favorite close(ish) locations, and I appreciate seeing the trail and falls in all different seasons and weather. This hike was sunny and warm and the kids were able to wade a bit. We took the loop twice, as usual.

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 36: Horse Rock Ridge (again)

Horse Rock Ridge June @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

On June 25th I returned to Horse Rock Ridge for the third time this year. The first was cool and cloudy, but we still had a view. The second hike, Holly and I were completely in the clouds (we could hardly see in front of us as we were hiking). This third hike was hot and sunny! Lola, Holly, Ivy, Monet, Bella, Sophia, Christina, Sarah, Hudson, Houston and I hiked the 4 miles and 1,000+ foot elevation gain.

The grass was brown, but the wildflowers were beautiful. We had views of Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters at the end of the hike.

Horse Rock Ridge 6 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Again, we had the trail completely to ourselves.

Horse Rock Ridge 2 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 3 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 4 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesHorse Rock Ridge 5 @ Mt. Hope Chronicle

We finished off our hot afternoon with a swim at McKercher Park on the way home.

McKercher @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 35: Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

On June 18th, we made our yearly excursion to the top of Iron Mountain [pics from last year]. We tried to schedule it carefully. We wanted a clear, warm day. This particular Monday was supposed to be hot and sunny, so we started early. In the cold and rain. So much for planning. The kids and I were joined by Char and her kids, Sarah and her kids, and Holly with Ivy and Ilex.

The Iron Mountain trail is only 3 miles, but it’s a strenuous 1,300 foot elevation gain. Straight up. Straight down. That tiny ribbon in the upper left of the above picture is the road where we started. 

Even though our weather started out so cool and drizzly, we still had a great view from the summit. The Three Sisters are below.

Iron Mountain Three Sisters @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

And Mt. Jefferson:

Iron Mountain Mt. Jefferson @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesIron Mountain Lola @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesIron Mountain Holly and Char @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Sunday, July 15, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 34: Cascadia and Soda Creek Falls

Cascadia and Soda Creek Falls @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

On June 14th, Holly, Char, and I (no kids) hiked at Cascadia on a cool morning. We first hiked to the Cascadia Cave to see the petroglyphs.

Cascadia Cave @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

It’s really just an overhang, but apparently this was a spiritual place for two indigenous tribes. Petroglyphs were a first on this hiking challenge.

Cascadia Petroglyphs @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We walked along the river for a bit. I love how the water has worn patterns in the rock. The wildflowers were in bloom.

Cascadia @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We then took the 1.4 mile out-and-back trail to the Lower Soda Creek Falls where the water sprayed us and the sun peaked out while we picnicked. It was a rare adult-only hike, and we enjoyed our quiet time.

Cascadia Soda Creek Falls Hike @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Cascadia Soda Creek Falls Collage @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Friday, July 13, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 33: Marys Peak

Marys Peak @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

June 11th, hike 33.

From the parking lot near the summit, we took North Ridge Trail down, Tie Trail across, East Ridge Trail up, and then Summit Trail to the Peak for a total of about 3.5-4 miles. (A longer loop is shown at this link.) This was our second time hiking this trail, but our first this year.

I started the morning by whacking my head on the rear hatch of my Suburban and bleeding all over. That was the extent of the drama, however, and we (Char, Holly, and I with all our kids) had a gorgeous, misty, magical hike along the trail before the weather cleared and we had some sunshine and bright wildflowers at the top of the peak.

Marys Peak 1 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 2 @ Mt. Hop ChroniclesMarys Peak 6 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 5 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 7 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 9 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 8 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 3 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 12 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 13 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 14 @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMarys Peak 15 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles