Monday, March 13, 2017

Rainbow Lake Loop

We continue to fall more and more in love with our little mountain and all of the outdoor activities that are within minutes of our home. Each excursion is its own adventure as we see everything fresh through our children's eyes.

Last weekend we took advantage of the gorgeous spring weather –winter mostly skipped over us this year– and made our way to the Rainbow Lake trail head. I was prepared with food for a picnic and the kids were prepared with an abundance of energy.

 Jack and Daniel at top of bluff (neon green shirt). 
They climbed up a chimney hidden in a crevice of the bluff that is in view.

Isaac and I at bottom of bluff (as viewed by Jack and Daniel).

We made our way down the trail, stopping to explore the bluffs at our leisure. Jack and Daniel climbed up a chimney in one of the bluffs, the same one they had done at Thanksgiving. Jack was proud of his accomplishment and some teenagers were clearly impressed.

On the other hand, Isaac was not happy to be left at the bottom. His time will come before we know it!

As soon as Jack and Daniel made their way back down to us, we pressed on toward Rainbow Lake where we stopped for a picnic.

Recent rains meant the dam at the lake was flowing freely with a cascade of water. We enjoyed the sunshine and our sandwiches before exploring the rocks at the water's edge.

While the weather was nice, the water was still cold. We told Jack that this was not the time to get feet wet, and thankfully he complied. Hiking back to the car while wet would not be a fun task. Isaac was determined to try to do whatever Jack does, so we were glad that neither of them tried to get in the water. 

After exploring for a bit, we decided to walk across the cable bridge that crosses the creek. This is the junction where the trail splits, turning right to Signal Point or continuing across the bridge to Edward's Point. We didn't have enough water or time to complete that hike which made Jack sad.

Instead we agreed to follow a lower trail (orange blazes) that we had not noticed before. The sign for this trail said Cable Bridge 0.4 miles. We made (the right) assumption that this would cross back over the creek and circle back to the original trail.

We weren't completely sure where it would take us, but felt confidant we would connect back to the Rainbow Lake trail.

Worst case, we would turn around and back track. Thankfully it did connect and the loop extended our hike from what would have been 1.6 miles out-and-back to a 2.5 mile loop. We enjoyed discovering another cable bridge and a whole section of bluffs that we didn't realize were there.

Instead of circling Rainbow Lake, the trail meandered up a different ravine with another creek draining down into the creek that feeds Rainbow Lake.

While Isaac hiked most of the way down to the lake, after the first cable bridge, we put him in our Deuter Kid Carrier and I carried him the rest of the way. He fell asleep shortly after the second cable bridge crossing and napped as we made our way back to the car.

I love how the seasons change the scenery and how we interact with it. In November the creek was fairly dry due to last year's drought. We walked across rocks and creek crossings that were submerged on this particular hike. We also noticed many trees down from the recent storms in our area.

I love that our children are growing up with easy access to hiking and nature and learning to love the outdoors like we do. We always enjoy our hikes and sharing our love for the outdoors with our kids.

Previous Rainbow Lake Hikes:
Hike to Rainbow Lake IHike to Rainbow Lake IIRainbow Lake to Edwards Point

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