Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lover's Leap, Eagles Cliff, Wildcat and LaSalle Canyons 01-31-2016

This hike is from Saturday January 31st.   There were 10 hikers.  Temperature wise is was great hiking.  However with the comfortable hiking weather all the ice on the trails has melted and we had continuous boot sucking mud. Canyons still looked great if you didn't mind getting your boots muddy. I didn't see any of my hikers fall in the mud, but I did hear that one did fall gracefully and didn't have any mud on her to show for it. 

Top of French

View of the Locks and Hydro electric power plant from Eagles Cliff

Best view in the park.  View from Eagle's Cliff looking East.

Ice fall in Wildcat Canyon on the East wall

Wildcat Canyon main Ice fall.  It is hard to see, but there is someone ice climbing on the left side.  I think the ice fall is a bit weak.  I met a pair of Conservation police officers, when we finished our hike. I asked them if it was ok to climb today since the falls looked to be a little weak.  He said as long as they sign in at the Visitor Center.  I told him the condition of the Wildcat Canyon.  His response was that he didn't say it was smart. 

Did I mention the trails were muddy?

Along the river trail near Sandstone Point
LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon

This is an ice statue.  What is left of the ice fall in LaSalle Canyon

The Water is really coming down in LaSalle Canyon

Behind the falls in LaSalle Canyon

Coming up the Bluff stairs.

My happy muddy group

Wildcat Canyon from the East overlook
After all the mud, this boardwalk was a big relief.

I will leave you with this: The promise of Spring's arrival is enough to get anyone through a rough winter.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hennepin, Hidden and Owl Canyons 01-28-2016

Theme photo
 Today's Walker's Club had 31 hikers and 1 dog (Cocoa).  We met in the Lodge's lobby and carpooled to Hennepin Canyon parking lot and walked from there.  It was a great day for hiking.  The sun was out and about 38 degrees or so.  Very little wind.  Saw a few eagles and many ice formations.

What a colorfull bunch we have today.  31 hikers and Cocoa

This is the only parking lot that once you park your car you have to cross Rt. 71 to get to the trail.

The trail started out just being frozen leaves.  That didn't last long, soon it was nothing but ICE.

Very ICY!!!  Yak trax or Katoohlas

View from Hennepin Overlook

One arm of Hennepin Canyon, nice ice formation

Hennepin Canyon

Another Ice fall coming out of the West wall of Hennepin Canyon

Hennepin Canyon Bridge.  The road in the distance is Rt. 71

Looking out to Hennepin Canyon

The main Hennepin Canyon waterfall

Hidden Canyon

Top of Owl Canyon

Inside Owl Canyon

Ice at the bottom of Owl Canyon

Frozen stream design, Love it!

Frozen Stream design

Owl Canyon

Eagle on the river area, near Owl Canyon

Illinois River Bank

Coming out of Owl Canyon

Going up the steps on the way back.  About 130 or so steps

Hennepin Canyon on the way back

Back at the cars, time to head back to the office

The trails were icy.  These Yak- tracks saved this hiker from falling many times.  These can be found in the Gift Shop here at the Lodge or at your favorite sporting goods store.  About $25-$35.  Stick not included.  Spend the extra $5 for the strap or use a shoelace to hold them on your boots. 

I will leave you with this: The things that matter most in this world, they can never be held in our hand.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Wildcat, LaSalle, Eagle's Cliff, Lover's Leap 01-23-2016

Theme photo of the hike

I was the hike leader for the Guided Winter Hike today.  We had 16 hikers and 3 dogs.  They were a great group!  All stayed together pretty much the whole time.  There was a little bit of ice on the trails and the stairways.  It is time to bring out the Yak trax.  

The only difference between the Walk and Pro is that the PROs have the strap to hold them on your boots.

Some of the trails are icy, Yak trax were nice to have today.

Wildcat from the East Overlook.

Time for a photo!

Up, Under or Around

Coming down the stairway by Lonetree Canyon.  Steps were more snow than ice.  Nice to have the Yak-trax

Going into LaSalle Canyon

Bonus waterfall going into LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon up close
LaSalle Canyon from behind

LaSalle Canyon was so spectacular, I had to take a video


Bridge coming out of LaSalle Canyon

Illinois River, Near LaSalle Canyon

Resting place along the Illinois River near Wildcat Canyon

Wildcat Canyon

Wildcat Canyon, 2 frozen waterfalls today

Wildcat Canyon

Looking East from Eagle's Cliff

Lone Eagle.  Coming back from Lover's Leap, near Devil's Nose

Top of French Canyon

Top of French Canyon.  Almost back to the Lodge
What a great day to be out hiking!

I will leave you with this: "Log off", "Shut down", "Go Outside".