Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mary Jane Falls - 7/26/16

Mary Jane Falls Cave

Mary Jane Falls

Mary Jane Falls

Climbing the Approach Trail
 Mary Jane Falls is one of the Spring Mountains NRA official recreational trails. Every day, hikers with kids, tourist hikers, hikers with dogs and a continuous assortment are found on the short trail that leads up to an area where there are three water slides coming down from the cliffs above. The seven moderate hikers participating today became part of that assortment. We parked at the Mary Jane Falls trailhead located a little further past the Trail Canyon trailhead and started hiking up the 0.75 mile approach trail.

Circling around Fallen Trees on Old Road Trail
 The approach trail isn't real steep but it does wake you up! It is a very wide trail that glides up through an aspen grove.

A Short Rest on the Steep Old Road
 To the left of the trail, the Kyle Canyon wash runs wide through the forest. For a harder workout, use the wash for the climb up.

Another Log

The Difficult Last Climb
 The Mary Jane Falls trail turns to the right as indicated by logs crossing the path straight ahead. This is the newer trail that uses switchbacks to climb the steep hill. Five of the seven hikers, today, went straight over the logs and veered to the right on an old road that barely looks like a road anymore. There are many trees that have fallen to block the way. We circled around the trees when necessary but our route stayed true as we huffed and puffed our way up. Some sections of the old road were so steep that we had to watch our steps if we didn't want to slide backwards!

Mary Jane Falls from the Last Climb Up
 The road narrowed into a trail near the end and the short scree climb turned out to be the most difficult part. Nevertheless, we made it to the top and found one of the other two switchback hikers already there.

Lettie Climbs to the Shelf
 Mary Jane Falls was flowing and when hikers stood under it, they got a pretty good shower. Two hikers climbed up to the shelf that runs along under the cliff above.

Sitting at Mary Jane Falls

View out from Mary Jane Falls
 When the last hiker arrived, five of the seven decided to hike over to the cave to take their break. The trail to the cave runs against the wall to the left as you are facing the falls. Over the past few years, this trail has become very clear. We settled into the cave that is filled with graffiti at this time. But, the view out from the cave is the attraction as seen in the photo at the top of this entry. (Graffiti has been photoshopped out of these photos.) The view from the cave is down Kyle Canyon.

Trail to Cave
 We took our break on the rocks inside the cave of approximately 30 feet square then returned to the falls area where the two hikers were waiting.

Another View out from Cave
 All together, we started down the switchbacks for our return. There are several rock steps on this top section of the trail that runs along the wall.

The Cave

Starting Down the Switchback Trail
 The small group of hikers seemed to enjoy the downhill most of all. There was no dilly dallying! As the coordinator swept the line, she had to come out of her slow mood! We switchbacked down on the trail that is no longer as wooded as it used to be. Careless hikers have also cut the switchbacks so badly that the erosion is terrible. One of the most used trails in the Spring Mountains is in need of an update ... again. Nevertheless, we got back to the cars without stopping and were very happy to have the rest of the day to enjoy.

3 miles; 900 feet elevation gain; 2 hours

Hiking along the Rock Wall


The Approach Trail

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