Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3 – The Easy Sights Around Paradise

Well we don’t feel as bad about feeling tired after the hike yesterday. Last night I read in one of the brochures that the trail’s nickname is “Goat Trail” as in it is best suited to mountain goats.

Today the goal was to take it much easier and see all the sights that are close to the highway. I say it was the goal because a lot of small things still add up to a big thing and we were again pretty tired at the end of the day.

It was busy again today. Even though we got up the mountain mid morning a lot of the pull offs were almost full and traffic on the road was constant.

First up was Narada Falls. A short falls under a pretty stone bridge.


And then over the cliff.


This is the view from a lookout after it goes over the cliff. A lot of spray and we got quite wet.


This is the view from one of the lookouts of the Nisqually River valley.


This is the view when we walked out onto the bridge in the picture above.


It is hard to believe but a ranger said that this fills from side to side with water in the fall when the rains come and melt a lot of the snow on the mountain.



Here is an even closer view to give you an better idea of the size of the river now.


It just boggled our minds to think of the amount of water it would take. This is where we sat to have lunch and collect some stones away from the crowds.


Next was Christine Falls. This is where the creek we hiked yesterday goes under the stone highway bridge.


On to a 2 mile return hike to Carter and Madcap falls. First you had to cross this log bridge over the river. It was a bit dizzying seeing the water rushing so close to you.



This trail climbed 500 feet but it was along gradual climb on even footing.



The views of the falls at the end were somewhat disappointing. This was the best I could get of the whole falls. Once again we wished we had a giant light sabre or laser to trim some of those %%$^% branches.


We got a closer view of the very top.


Heading back across the river with a view of the mountain.


After some ice cream fortification, we did a very short trail around a meadow to some springs that were bubbling carbon dioxide.


Kind of scummy looking.


And finally we drove to this wooden suspension bridge over the river.

And another view of the mountain from the bridge.


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