Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Nihahi Creek - Sept 2, 2007

N and I wanted to take it a little easier this week out and thought we'd try Nihahi Creek, which runs, not surprisingly, along the base of Nihahi Ridge. The directions to the trailhead are the same as Nihahi Ridge, except the trail continues along the forestry road instead of turning uphill to the ridge.

The mornings were definitely getting cooler, and while it wasn't jacket weather yet, the changing conditions brought about a different look at our meeting place at Station Flats:

Nihahi Creek is supposed to an excellent hike for rainy days in the spring. Considering this was a sunny morning in September, we were a little off, but we found the trail to be quiet and beautiful. Since this part of Elbow Valley is right on the edge of the rockies, there are some amazing views for very little walking:

There's also a nice view of Nihahi itself, and a chance to look at the peak we scaled a few weeks back:

The hike itself is fairly nondescript and follows along the creek without many inclines. The pleasant surprise is near the end of the hike when the creek merges into a canyon that runs below the trail. The canyon is too deep to reach when you first see it, but eventually the trail leads to the mouth of the canyon:

It was dry enough to walk along the bottom for a while (so maybe this IS the right time of year for this trail), but eventually there is a narrow section where it becomes risky to drop down -- and you run the risk of not being able to climb out. So we turned back and enjoyed the silence and confines of the canyon and the mossy walls that surrounded it:

It was a mostly pleasant and casual hike. There was only one steep uphill that took about 15 minutes to navigate (and gave us our workout for the day). I think springtime would be a great time for wildflower viewing, but late in the fall gives the best chance to check out the canyon!