What a difference a (wet) year can make. Bobbie and I have noticed that several of our canyon hikes feel brand new this time around.
Humungous boulders, rearranged by flash floods, are complicating once easy strolls into route-finding scrambles that now beg a safety rope. Take Hidden Canyon, for example, the boulder-jam below was not there last time we hiked it…
Kinda speeds up the geological clock when you experience this kind of change one year to the next. We noticed the same thing on the Scoggins Wash hike… different set of problems to resolve this time around; different routes, different arrangements of "furniture."
Besides rearrangement due to flash floods, we've noticed big changes in trail conditions. When we first started coming to this area thirty some years ago, many routes outside the main corridor had so little traffic they would often disappear in places. Not so today, however. Deep ruts, exposed roots, and knee deep stream beds have been carved by tourists who come en mass, as in "flash floods," unintentionally carving away soil, leaving a trench of rocky rubble in their wake, and loving our National Park(s) to death.
|Another thing we noticed this year… the presence of a lot more water.|
|Gazing skyward from the bottom of Hidden Canyon.|
|Another boulder block that wasn't there last year.|
|And yet another…|