Day 11, 18 miles
We get up early because we have a big day planned but soon get distracted by the Cave Spring trail. It’s only .6 miles round trip and promises pictographs and a cowboy camp, we can’t skip out on that!
It’s cool to imagine people in the past living here. There are some relics in the cowboy cave like an old table, chairs and cans. The pictographs are cool and the spring is flowing. The hiking trail leads up and over the cave via some ladders and offers great views of the Needles in the distance. We’re loving it!
Back on track we road walk to the campground. We first pass by a group camp site and when Prana spots a privy we’re all very excited. I’m also super stoked about the garbage can and happily dump last night’s burnt dinner.
We now head for the start of the Peekaboo trail. This is an established trail and we see several day hikers and backpackers. There are some sweet potholes with better tasting water than the camp ground water so we stop and tank up here. Then we decide we might as well have lunch there even if it’s only 11am.
The Peekaboo trail turns out to be amazing. It goes up and over several layers of slick rock offering views of distant snowy peaks, the Needles and other cool vistas. The different colors and patterns of the rock layers are so neat!
This trail definitely ranks in my top 5 of most scenic day hikes. Near the end there is a spot where you pass through a hole to the other side of the ridge. Peekaboo!!
We spot the Salt Creek down below. The water looks lovely. Our final descent includes a long narrow steep metal ladder. It reminds me of the trails in the Whites at home. The bottles on our outside pockets get crunched but we make it down.
The walk along the Salt Creek is beautiful! The canyon has so many things to look at, rock formations above, the creek next to us, trees, shrubs… The trail isn’t always easy or obvious but I’m really enjoying it. We get to a nice swimming hole and I venture in to my crotch, it’s very refreshing but a little too chilly to swim. Prana and Haiku decide they’ll play in the water at a later time so I put my sandals on and follow a bit behind. I catch up and it turns out that having the sandals on works out perfectly because we’re criss crossing the creek numerous times. It’s hot out so it feels refreshing.
We find a beautiful spot for an afternoon break, big flag stones offer nice lounging and access to the water for washing our socks and shirts/dress.
We have another four hours after that until we get to the junction with the Angel Arch trail. The trail is often times sandy and we keep crossing the creek. Eventhough it’s official trail it’s not always easy to follow and in the end we’re getting pretty tired. My pack is also very heavy and I’m feeling it.
We make it to the Angel Arch just before dark (6:30pm) and are tuckered out. The arch really does look like an angel with the wings behind her. Very cool.