Thirty-nine hikers showed up for the second hike to Mary Jane Falls this season. Our first effort at this hike ended in a downpour complete with hail.
Today's effort at the 3.8 mile hike began and ended with gorgeous weather and blue sky. We parked at the trailhead which is found on a turn off dirt road from Echo Drive which in turn, turns off of Kyle Canyon Road. The large parking lot quickly filled halfway with our ten cars. We naturally divided into a faster group and a slower group making our way up to the switchbacks and beyond. New faces joined in the festivities!
Reaching the top of the switch- backs, we encountered the cliff wall and began the last segment of the climb along side it. The moderately steep hike was taking its toll by this time and the slower group was making it up ... well, slowly. Just before arriving at the Mary Jane Falls area, we had to climb approximately twenty steps which were built into the trail by rangers past. This climb was rewarded by the approach view of an open area underneath a 60 foot (approximate) cliff that curved around on our right.
We each found a place to either sit and enjoy a snack or wander around and explore. Our fearless coordinator, Annie, enjoyed the former with three of her cohorts as seen to the left. There was a heavy flow of water (for Mary Jane Falls) coming off of the cliff in three places providing several opportunities for photographers to rise to the challenge of exposing their pictures through the shade and sunlight.
Explorations led several hikers to the large cave located on around the bottom of the cliff wall to the left. It is one of the largest caves this hiker has seen in the Spring Mountain area. The hike to the cave is easy and short even though it cannot be seen from the falls. The most difficult part of this hike is climbing up into and down out of the cave itself.
Back at the falls area, the columbine bloomed where it was the most moist and birds would sneak in for sips of the water where the falls splashed at the base. The view out into upper Kyle Canyon was fantastic and everyone was in great spirits. We finished our break and began trickling back down the trail. In the photo to the left, Mike turned at the sound of the camera clicking.
We hiked down the switchbacks at our own comfortable pace passing many many canine hikers. This trail is probably the most popular trail in the Spring Mountains for dogs. There is a large variety of breeds in the canine hiking club we will call the Around the Bend Barkers. There are young and old, big and little and even one that we saw today that enjoys the beauty of the outdoors from the crook of her owner's arm.