Sparkling Ramona Falls
Ramona Falls Trail
I arrived early at Ramona Falls trail head. A few yards from the trail head is the well known box where the wilderness permits are filled out and deposited. The forest is thinner than what I am used to when hiking in Washington and there are more rock and moss all around. The change in scenery for me was a nice change.
The Sandy River is a glacial stream
After a short trek, I came to the edge of the Sandy River. It’s the middle of October and the seasonal rains had not yet started and the “river” at this point is a rushing glacial stream. It is apparent, however, that the stream can become large and raging at times. There is a sign that reinforces that idea; “River Crossing Safety on Glacial Streams”. The sign was donated by the family and friends of Sarah Bishop, a skilled hiker who died on the Sandy River during high water.
This temporary bridge is removed
during high water season
A temporary bridge is set up to use when crossing the river. When the water rises the bridge is removed before it is washed away, then it is reused the next season. After crossing the river, the trail continues over a stretch of sand. Previous hikers set up cairns to mark the way. Soon, I enter the forest again and am back on the trail.
Ramona Falls is a spectacular falls that spreads wide as it descends over the rocks. It is difficult to take it all in at once and I found myself admiring a section at a time. Because it is a popular spot, there are regulations regarding where you can camp and guidelines for climbing and exploring. I took a few minutes here to heat up some water and have a traditional cup of Starbuck’s Via ®.
Rock towers above the trail
After my coffee, I crossed the bridge and continued on the trail to complete the loop. I must admit that this portion of the trail was much better. Ramona Creek was clear and bubbly. The trail was nestled within a blanket of moss. There were various types of mushrooms. A rock face rose to the right of the trail and added interest to the trek.
Trail Under Construction
I was amused to encounter a sign the read “Caution Trail Construction Ahead”. I would normally expect to see this type of sign in the city or on Hwy 14 (in Washington State). I soon came to a couple of workers that were building a bridge. I watched for a moment, then continued. When I reached the Sandy River again, I retraced my steps over the temporary bridge and back to the trailhead. This turned out to be a good workout without any extreme up or down hills.