Sunday, January 10, 2010

Laurel Falls (again)

On Tuesday we headed over to the National Park for a little snow hiking. Along the way we passed a herd of turkeys all fluffed up against the cold. Temp was about 15F degrees with wind chill around 10F.

We decided to hike out to Laurel Falls (again) because the sub-freezing temps were sure to have created some interesting ice formations. We'd last been out about a month ago to see the high water volume after heavy rains.
The Falls trail was fairly busy, being one of the most hiked trails in the park and a short 2.6-mile roundtrip paved outing. But with the cold it wasn't as crowded as usual.

Ice flow, created just like cave formations... except waaaay quicker.

Below the Falls the river was freezing over.

Here are a couple comparison shots, taken at the overspill below the Falls, one after heavy rain and one in snow/ice:

And now a comparison of Laurel Falls itself, heavy rain vs. snow/ice:

As usual we hiked on past the Falls and the crowd thinned out, but not completely. There were other groups headed toward the old fire tower... more traffic on the trail likely due to roads being closed around the park and thereby limiting hikers' trail choices. We turned back before reaching the trail junction as we got too cold, about 2.6 miles out.

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