Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Hiking Vermilion Gorge


Hi again! The summer was pretty busy at the farm (www.cookscountryconnection.com) , so Mr. Wonderful, Danny, and I took a Sunday off to make another hike up to Vermilion Gorge.  The leaves were still beautiful, and the high temp was 88!

People often mistake Vermilion Falls with Vermilion Gorge. The Falls are the really short hike that was shortened a few years ago. It’s right before Crane Lake. Here is the USFS sheet on that one. 

Vermilion Gorge is the 3 mile round-trip hike that takes about 3 hours “at a leisurely pace”, according to Vermilion Gorge USFS info sheet.  Drive all the way through Crane Lake and park in the private parking lot for Voyagaire Houseboats on the left. In the fall and early spring, the lot is full of said houseboats, but there will be signs pointing you to the trailhead.

The hike starts in a birch/aspen (popple) forest, and the sky was perfect this day. Most of the maple leaves were on the ground, but the vibrant yellows popped with the deep blue fall sky. We spent a lot of time looking straight up.

 

Vermilion Gorge (4 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (6 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (7 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (10 of 195)

As the trail climbed into the Norway pines, we noticed a million types of mushrooms.

Vermilion Gorge (18 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (26 of 195)And writing this post, I noticed we got photobombed by a bald eagle!! Very top of the photo, left of center. 
Vermilion Gorge (20 of 195)The reflections were breathtaking. 
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Some kind soul had left a walking stick at the trailhead, so the Boy happily used it, returning it for the next person.

 

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I could be wrong, but I think this is a glacial erratic. I didn’t get any good shots of it on this trip, so this pic is from last year.

Vermilion Gorge-208

 

 

 

 

 

Vermilion Gorge (69 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (79 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (82 of 195)

We sat for a break (for me, not them lol), and Paul noticed this birdnest in a birch tree overhanging the gorge.

Vermilion Gorge (103 of 195)

Yep, he has his device. But he got some awesome photos and is reading in this picture. No gaming.

Vermilion Gorge (124 of 195)

It was during this break that I noticed cairns farther upstream. Paul and Danny did some scouting, and were sure I could make it, with help. I’m so lucky to have these two; I wouldn’t have attempted this hike without backup. Not that it’s super-difficult; it’s just too much for me, with bum hips, knees, and ankles. They were such troopers, helping me up and down stairs and steep sections of trail.

Anyway, I remembered being on the other side of the monolith with BFF Terri several years ago, and had pretty much given up the idea of making it there this time. Luckily the lure of getting photos with the sun hitting the gorge dead-on and a little encouragement from my family got me over the hump.

Vermilion Gorge (138 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (144 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (152 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (153 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (160 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (162 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (164 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (174 of 195)

Would you believe that not counting the canoeists, we only saw two people on the way in, and a group of four as we were almost back out??

Vermilion Gorge (183 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (191 of 195) Vermilion Gorge (194 of 195)

Hope you enjoyed the hike!

 

 

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