White River National Forest
Glenwood Canyon... what a place. The "jewel of the interstate system", it says so right there on the signs. It is probably true, too. I was giddy approaching Hanging Lake. It might actually be early enough to get a parking spot! One of the dangers of being too lazy to reach over and give the clock one click to be set correctly just because it will take another eleven clicks to set it again in two weeks is that it is later than I think. Since I am listening to radio episodes of Lights Out, the speakers keep reminding me that it is later than I think, but the actual fact only sank in as I stacked up behind a line of cars that stretched almost to the entry. Never mind. I turned around and dealt with the most pleasant bit of being forced into one lane for construction in the nation before popping out again at Grizzly Creek. This is a huge rest area with more than enough parking. The Colorado River flows fat beside it and there is a pull out for rafters. Most of the parking is along the south side of the interstate beside the river, but there is a little lot on the north side and this is where the hiking trail is found.
|The first taste at the end of the canyon.|
There is an informative sign about the history of diverting water from this creek to nearby No Name Creek to supply Glenwood Springs with sufficient water. There is a second sign to note in no uncertain terms that you will not get to Hanging Lake following this trail. The trail itself is an old road, or at least it has an old gate on it. There is a cute log picnic table and many use trails make their way to the water. Even with the diversion three miles up, it is quite enough to make most southern California rivers jealous outside of a winter surge.
|A gate. How quaint.|
|Taking a peek at the creek along a use trail that access it.|
There is no need to sneak along the use trails to see the creek, the proper trail brings that into view soon enough. Any resemblance to a road quickly vanishes as it makes its gentle climb into the narrow canyon. Besides views of the creek, there are also views of the walls and trees stretching for the sun and trees trying to climb those walls.
|Walls beside me are scree slopes leading to hints of cliffs above.|
|It requires a composite photo to take in the other side from the creek to the top.|
When the big things get a little too close at hand to really look at, it is good to have a few little things to dazzle as well. This is still early summer, so there is plenty of that.
|Some fading purple in the sun.|
|And drawing attention back to those high cliffs.|
|The ripening fruit of some berry.|
|The ever present antics of water below.|
A nice rock and interesting upper rocky tributary inspire me to stop for the lunch whose time has now come and to break in the new sketch book. It is the same as an old one and has a little more space than the last one. Oh, and a bit of tooth.
|What hides in the high canyon?|
I am aiming at a return time, but if I turn back now, I will be early. I head up a little further to see a little more.
|And always there is the roar.|
|A butterfly minds its own business with a scarlet bugler.|
|Up ahead, more high cliffs loom.|
Eventually, I do turn and make my way down again. I do still want to get up that other trail.
|A rock well loved by the mosses of the area.|
|Returning the way I came.|
|Some insect has made lace of some of the leaves.|
It is easy to find sights and details I missed on the way up. There is always so much to see in an area.
|Tiny slots seem to have formed above.|
|The distant wall of Glenwood Canyon is tree covered at the mouth.|
|Another log picnic table beside the creek.|
And all of this is right next to the interstate, not that you would hear or see it after a minute of hiking.
|Trucks on one side, trains on the other, and rafts down the middle.|
©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 4 August 2016