Today we did the other somewhat longer (5 km) trail in this section of the monument. The Sound of Silence Trail truly was amazingly silent. We only saw two other people.
It also had what I pretty sure may have the best view of the summer.
You start by the park road and cross a flat sagebrush plain towards the hills.
Then down into a wash that starts in the open.
Then weaves its way through the giant outcroppings that towered over us.
Lots of photospheres today.
We loved the heart shape of the layers on this one.
Is this a fossil?
So many shapes to look at.
We popped out and back into the wash a few times.
At the top of the loop you enter a very narrow wash to start back.
Lots of flowers to look at on the way.
This section had a lot of zig zags.
We eventually climbed up to an open sagebrush plain with Split Mountain off in the distance.
There was one spot where we could see that the car was a very long way away.
The trail ran beside a rocky ridge.
We saw a few lizards.
There were lots of ups and downs over the many gullies.
Just before the turn to climb over the ridge, there was a nice spot for lunch. Jennie sat under the rock.
I used this lounging rock.
With a great view.
Up and over we go.
Climbing down the far side was narrow, steep and rocky.
We had to climb down to the valley, walk along it and then climb over that ridge in the foreground.
I noticed that there was someone ay the top of the ridge in the background.
It was the park ranger that had passed us earlier.
Up and over.
Climbing down that ridge you come to the end of the long sloping background ridge.
This photosphere gives you a good side view of the ridge.
We met the ranger as he was coming down.
It was an allowed side trail to climb the long sloped ridge. He said that as long as you weren’t afraid of heights it was the best view in the park.
Jennie had a rest while I headed up. It was steep but not too bad. You just had to watch you step as it was narrow in spots and it was a long way down.
Jennie took a shot up towards be part way up.
And back down to her.
A photosphere from part way up.
Working my way to the top.
All I can say is WOW!
Looking to what I think is the north, with the jagged spines up close and the long deep red ridge curving off in the distance.
Looking the other way, towards Jennie and Split Mountain.
Looking towards the car.
The pictures just don’t do it justice.
The photosphere (a must see) comes closer but even it pales in comparison to being there.
It was really tough heading back down to meet her and continue on.
The next section was the toughest of the hike. Steep and narrow with lots of loose rocks.
But we made it down to complete the loop and head back to the car.
A look back.
Where I think my viewpoint was.
What a great hike on a perfect sunny but not too warm day.