I said we'd be back. I have to admit I did have my doubts though, it was considered a difficult hike and given the amount of time it'll take to hike it we weren't sure Jewel would make it...but we had to try. Jewel's got all her necessities.
We enter the trail thru those trees.
And continued hiking on up to where we left off last time.
And remember when I said we hiked up a ways...it turns out we'd barely even started.
There were even more rocky paths, and lots of hot sun in the beginning. The farther up we got, the more shade we got, but we still had a lot more climbing to do.
Sometimes we walked right up the creek
Other times we maneuvered around fallen trees
And occasionally we'd be surprised with random small waterfalls
There was rarely a flat part of the trail, it pretty much went from one steep terrain to the next, and after the toughest part of all we finally get to see our prize
The water was the most amazing color
And opposed to what other hikers on their way down thought of our choice of shoes, we were happy to prove them wrong. The crocs turned out to be good for another reason other than comfort. After getting them wet they took mere minutes to dry so we didn't risk having wet feet and shoes for the hike back down. They could have had better bottoms for the jagged rocks on the way down, but I couldn't have asked for a better hiking shoe. Fake crocs and all. I still don't know how Joey did it in those flip flops though.
After climbing over 1000 ft. in elevation in less than a mile, we discovered there was still more! Obviously Jake still has loads of energy
There was yet another large waterfall
Going back down from this waterfall we hit what was basically a dirt slide. Jonas went first and slid all the way down, and I brought up the rear and only fell a few times.
After nearly killing ourselves we found ourselves on top of the falls that form hanging lake, it was surreal. We were covered in shade, wading thru iron colored travertine and using downed trees as bridges. Plus we had the place to ourselves. Heaven.
You can see how high up in the canyon we were.
We had to go back down one more time before saying goodbye.
And before tackling this:
How about some more zig zags?
We're almost there!
Man what a great hike, I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself driving I-70 thru the Rockies. Everyone was impressed with Jewel, she never gave up and only tried to get Dad to carry her a couple times. She's turning into a natural hiker.
My whole body was sore for a couple days and Joey's calves were a little sore, so I expected the kids, especially Jewel, to be hurting, but they didn't know what we were talking about. They laugh when we say that was a hard hike, so forget if the little ones can make it....they may be helping you up.