Yesterday, we went hiking at Snoquera Falls to try out the new shoe spikes that we got on Saturday (we got ours from REI, but most sizes are a few bucks cheaper on Amazon). (This isn’t a sponsored post, I swear, we just had a shiny new toy and used it as an excuse to go hiking) We weren’t actually able to do the full loop for the hike because the snow was too deep past the falls, but we were able to hike out to the falls (1.4 miles) and back.
I don’t recommend this hike in the wintertime without some sort of spikes on your shoes – the trail was packed snow and ice, and pretty slick from the get-go, but since we did have the spikes, it was great! Snowshoes might have been fun up at the falls where the snow was loose and deep, but the trails were so packed that they wouldn’t have been much of any help.
I didn’t take very many photos along the trail, because I needed both hands for my hiking poles, and I spent most of it watching my feet instead of looking around, but we still saw some cool stuff along the trail – like this bit of snow-dusted ice.
This is as close as I was able to get to the bottom of the falls. The snow was really deep and it was tough wading/climbing. I actually decided that trying to stay upright getting back down to the trail sounded too unlikely, so I sat down and slid down on my backside…. which was frozen for about the next three hours, but it was kind of fun anyway.
Destin climbed up further than I did on the snow bank at the bottom of the falls with my camera, and was able to get better photos. He still wasn’t able to get terribly close… which is just as well, because being at the base wouldn’t be very safe with the risk of falling ice.
For comparison, here’s an idea of how close you can get to the falls in the summer – this photo is from when we hiked up to the falls in June 2013. I was able to walk right up to the wall and put my hands into the water.
Here I am much closer to the falls than we were able to get on Sunday… and very differently dressed!
There were a few other people up at the falls, so we actually got a (rare!) photo of the two of us together. Check out the size of the hunk of ice at our feet – exhibit A why you don’t want to get too close to the base of the falls!
There was still a tiny bit of water making it to the bottom of the falls, work its way down the stream under the snow – and making some pretty cool icicles and ice shapes in the hole in the snow we could see the water through.
Close to the trail head, the snow covered trees and branches arched over the trail looked pretty awesome. I got this photo on the way back down to the truck.
Back in the parking lot with a frozen backside, and oh-so-thankful for my gaiters to keep the snow out of my pants and boots, and the spikes strapped to my boots to keep me upright and not bruise-colored! I hope we can find a few more winter hikes to do – between shoe spikes and snowshoes, we should be pretty set for most winter hiking!