Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Osprey Falls Hike


Osprey Falls is a 150 foot tall waterfall that is only visible if  you hike into Sheepeater Canyon area or you are a bird and can fly in.  The hike of 4.6 miles seemed very manageable and we set off to start our hike at about 7:30 in the morning.

Mama ducks and their ducklings greeted us at the start of our hike.

These two sand cranes made a loud fuss when we walked through their area.  Their squawks echoed off of the surrounding mountains.

I look very happy here after the first couple of miles on the trail.  It was a gradual incline and a clear path.

Doug found a penny on the path a few miles in and the date was 1986 - the year we were married.  Finding these pennies - especially in unique spots - reminds us of Doug's dad.

Ptarmigan

We are ready to go after our 3.2 mile hike in to this trailhead.

Little did I know that this was an understatement!  But how bad could a little hike of 1.4 miles be??

Awesome canyon views were all around us.

This part of the hike was - I'm not going to lie - SCARY!  Doug didn't seem to mind it as much as I did but walking down the narrow path that traversed back and forth across the canyon wall was intimidating.  At some points along the narrow and gravelly trail you could not have afforded a misstep or a stumble or you would have gone into the canyon hundreds of feet below.  The scenery was awesome but I could not take my eyes off of the trail.



As we climbed down (or in my case shuffled) Doug found wild raspberries growing and enjoyed eating them as he waited for me to make my way a little farther along.  I was not hungry.

Although you cannot see it from this photo, one step off the trail and you are in the river below - way below.  

Finally we turned a corner and we were rewarded with this marvelous sight.  Yes it was worth the slow and scary climb down.  Will I do it again?  We'll see.

We sat here for quite awhile to rest our legs and feet.  The sound of the water was deafening and the power of the water coming over the falls was amazing.


We left the falls and climbed back up the side of the canyon.  Going up is much less scary and a little faster even though I needed to stop and rest more often due to the steep climb.  We hiked out past the Osprey Falls trailhead and onto the 3 mile trail that leads to that point to head back.  We stopped here for lunch where we could see the Gardner River coursing through Sheepeater canyon and making its way to the 150 foot drop.  As we ate and rested, a golden eagle flew into view and circled around above us higher and higher on the currents until we could no longer see it.  Beautiful. 

These feet will need a day's rest before we tackle another trail.

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