When the weather turns yucky and snow storms make travel over the mountain passes dangerous or impossible, lowland trails are great to stick with. Today was just one of those days.
We originally planned to escape the snow in the mountains and head over East to the desert where sun was supposed to be shining and sky was supposed to be blue. I knew we were in trouble when it started snowing in lowland areas on Friday morning. It hardly ever snows down here but on Friday 4/18/08 (yes, that is correct – middle of April) the snow started falling peacefully and everything was hidden under the white blanket in a matter of couple hours. I could only imagine what the pass would have been like….
I did not give up hope until I got home and checked the forecast. More snow during the weekend, they said, and the pass was about to receive around 6-10 inches. There was no way we could risk going over with our small passenger vehicles. There came the game we had to play so often this year called – Last Minute plan change.
Wallace Falls trail was it. Located just about 10 minutes from our house, it was a great option. It seems like we hike it every spring anyways so the weather gave us an opportunity to cross it off our annual list.
It was the first time ever I saw snow on this trail. It starts so low and only gains about 1200 feet that it usually remains snow free all year long. This year was different. First we snow evidence on leaves and boulders, then came scattered snow patches and once we reached elevation of about 1300 ft the coverage became more solid. At the upper level the snow was perfect – just enough to make the surrounding look beautiful, yet not too much to dip in. It made the beautiful crunchy noise and provided for a great traction. It was pretty amazing to see the trail under those conditions.
The waterfalls themselves were beautiful, raging down fed by the spring snow melt. It was fantastic to watch the falls and snowfall at the same time. It was very peaceful, especially since there were only few others on this otherwise very popular and crowded trail and we could enjoy the show in very serene settings.