Today we went with 31 members of the hiking club to see the waterfall at Barnhardt. This is a hike we’ve been on several times, but usually much earlier in the season. The elevation of the trailhead is almost 2000 feet above that of Gold Canyon so when the weather gets hot we usually head here to find cooler temperatures. The fact that we’re a month later than usual and can finally schedule this hike tells you all you need to know about how cool it’s been this winter.
The drive to the trailhead is 77 miles away from our park, but the trip is definitely worth it as the waterfall is usually full of water. At least it has been 3 of the 4 times we’ve been here, the first time it was barely a trickle and we were wondering if we’d been had, but we were convinced that was an anomaly.
The waterfall is 3 miles from the trailhead, and is 1650 feet in elevation higher. All but about 50 feet of the trail is a steady uphill grind and by the time we get there, we’re about ready to sit down.
There was a fair bit of water all along the trail, more than we remember seeing in the past.
Spots like these appeared all along the lower section of the trail, and proved that we’ve had a wet, mild winter. Yep, that’s moss mixed in there.
Even the Hedgehog cactus look particularly thick and healthy. No flowers yet though.
We didn’t see many flowers, but there were some Primroses (?) around.
Before long, we were far above the level of the trailhead.
And then suddenly we were at the waterfall pools.
Somebody was happy to finally get here. Then I informed her that she had to climb up even higher to see the waterfall. The route into the cavern where the waterfall was visible was rather difficult to reach as there was quite a bit of water, and footing was rather precarious in spots.
When she finally made it into the base of he waterfall it looked like she was pretty comfortable clinging onto the rocks with Bill and Kay.
There actually was quite a bit of water running down the hillside, but not much more than we saw last February.
I do have a video of the waterfall, but you’re going to have to see it on Facebook, as I can’t get it to display here. Youtube seems to have forgotten who I am. Here’s the LINK
After lunch it was time to head back. The temperatures were quite comfortable, about 50F next to the waterfall, and 70 or so in the sunshine. By the time we got back to the trailer at 4:30 it was 82F in Gold Canyon. We did pick a good day for this hike.
It’s amazing how these cactus, succulents and ferns can all grow in the same spot, right out of the rock.
One of the treats on this hike is the rock formations present in the ravine we walk up. I have forgotten what they’re called, and it’s too late to start looking them up, but surely somebody can remind me?
And then we were done! None the worse for wear, and ready for a cold drink!
Tomorrow is another day of Pickleball officiating at a tournament in Mesa. We seem to have earned ourselves a job. Oh well, if we can’t play we can at least be in charge of the matches.