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8.15.14.....Horsetail Falls

Hike Details:
  • Elevation -approx. 6,100-7,000 ft.
  • Location - Pyramid Creek Trailhead off of Highway 50
  • Mileage - 3+ miles
  • Hiking time - 2-3 hours
  • Route -We parked at the Pyramid Creek trailhead and followed the trail signs, which basically follows the creek. At various points, it's tricky to find an actual trail because you're on fields of granite, but having the creek to follow made it easier. Eventually you come to an open area where there are signs for the Desolation Wilderness and it's required to fill out a permit to hike through this area. Again, we scrambled over some granite rocks in places, but found that the best way to go was sticking closer to the creek. You can stop anywhere along the falls, though the rocks get trickier, slicker and steeper the farther up you go. We went about halfway up, stopped for lunch and then headed back down.
  • Weather - Gorgeous!
A beautiful spot along Pyramid Creek as you begin the ascent to the falls (thanks, Misty, for the smooth waterfall pic!).
At one point the creek rushes over a flat section of granite--it looks like it could be a pretty fun (though very dangerous) water slide.
 And then the falls come into view, pretty impressive...
 Getting closer...
 The view looking back was pretty awesome too--the peak in the distance is Lover's Leap.
This is the entrance to Desolation Wilderness, just grab a permit, fill it out, take the tag and put the rest in the box. Then wind through the trees and head up the rocks.
One thing I LOVE about the mountains...the trees! I'm not advocating carving on trees, but this little grove of aspens looked pretty cool.
And speaking of trees, this was pretty amazing--this tree was literally suspended over the creek.I've never seen anything like this.
And here's a side view...
 That awkward moment when your mom makes you stand inside a dead tree...
It was fun having Ryan along, even though he jumped across the waterfall and climbed on rocks that made all of us moms a little nervous.
 Great company for lunch and with a better view than any high-end restaurant...
It was a nice change of pace to find a trail off of Highway 50 since we usually go up 80. And I'll definitely plan to come back here again sometime to climb up higher past the falls into the Desolation Wilderness where there are numerous beautiful lakes and mountain peaks (Avalanche Lake, Lake of the Woods, Ralston Peak). Another day and another hike!