Friday, May 19, 2023

Lee Canyon Narrows (Bottom Up) - 5/18/23

Exiting the Narrows

Rock Wall near Trail

One of Several Large Cairns along the Trail

Trail down into Lee Canyon from Old Lee TH
Five Around the Bend Friends club members drove up Lee Canyon Road to a place I call the Old Lee Trailhead near the 7 mile marker. It is across the road from the large quarry, or Barrow Pit, that is located near the Blue Tree Campground. The asphalt from part of the Old Lee Canyon Road still exists there and that's where we parked the cars. A sign indicates where the trail drops steeply down into Lee Canyon and, at the bottom, there is an old rusted can with the wording "Barrow Pit" on the canyon side. The trail curves around to the right before it crosses the wash usually marked by cairns. Not far up the other side of the wash, there is a trail fork. The left fork goes up the hill and on over to Deer Creek Canyon, the catch pen, springs and other trails in this area. We took the right fork that started us up Lee Canyon. The Lee Canyon Trail (aka the Blue / Orange Trail) has been recently remarked to make some of the questionable trail turns much clearer. We had no problems following the trail on the way up to Lee Canyon Narrows as long as we remembered that the trail, at one time, squiggles down canyon for a moment before turning back up at one point. Some of the very large cairns still exist and they are very helpful.

Lively Group of Hikers

Lee Canyon Trail (Blue Trail)

Nearing the entrance to the Narrows

Ducking among the Old Trees
The last time (2nd or 3rd) that we passed two of the very large cairns while crossing the wash, we knew we had come to the narrows turnoff. If you miss these and start climbing a steepish hill on the west side of the canyon, you know you just passed it. Leaving the trail, we hiked up through the wash among a few trees and narrowed between two rock walls. This canyon narrows is quite elegant; small but architecturally beautiful. We all ducked under the huge obstacle rock to see what the top end of the slot looked like then came back through for our break and a photo. A pack rat nest is prominent on the western wall. The day was cool but getting warmer with a nice breeze. We wanted to complete the hike before rain clouds started threatening our solace.

Entering Lee Canyon Narrows

Rock Formations in the Narrows

The Lively Five inside the Narrows

Passing another Large Cairn
On our way back to the trailhead, we only came to one point on the trail that was difficult to follow. It didn't really delay us but, just a note. We stepped up the pace going downhill at a gentle slope. We looked for wild horses that had been seen in this vicinity in the past but never saw any. The most difficult part of this hike is the steep climb out of the canyon to reach the trailhead. We took the hill at our own pace. Very pleasant day!

Stats: 4.5 miles; 725' gain; 2.5 hours

Following the Lee Canyon Trail

Trail Sign

Climb back to Old Lee Trailhead

No comments: