I was back at the upper Rattlesnake Lake parking lot today with a plan to investigate Cedar Butte and Sallal Point. Plan accomplished but my explorations today revealed quite a few more trails to explore.
You gotta love this place!
Cedar Butte is a fairly benign (2 mile round trip, 800 ft elevation gain) prominence about a mile down the Iron Horse trail from this sign. I wanted to explore this to see if it is as family-friendly as it seems from the written descriptions. I think it is a hike we can do with Jan and Jill and Fin (and ultimately, the little guy who is due to arrive on or about June 16).
It definitely is family-friendly but I don’t think I actually found the summit. I was wandering around looking for a rumored new trail from Cedar Butte to Mt. Washington and I went up and down and around a couple of times and found myself mysteriously back on the Iron Horse trail. I looped around without realizing it and rather than start over, I decided to re-explore this nice little trail some other time.
So I took off towards Mt. Washington, which is about 1.7 miles past the western trail head for Twin Falls (see sign above). Sallal Point intersects the Mt. Washington trail about 1.5 miles from the trail head:
Derek and I have seen this sign many times and always wondered what it is.
Well, what it is is a nice trail for sure. Derek has the Garmin (he is figuring out how to use it) so I figured I would just stay on the main Sallal Point trail, which I did, but I noticed three tantalizing trails heading up (towards the right) from the main trail. I am sure we can investigate these at our leisure.
They are steep, and I do mean straight up!
The trail I was on seemed to run out after a healthy little scramble:
So I unwrapped the trekking poles to help me down and back-tracked to Iron Horse again. What a nice trail the Iron Horse is. You see horses:
And, just go a little ways off-trail and you can see evidence that other creatures share this environment:
My Boeing On The Move pedometer registered 33, 325 steps from car back to car, and adding up the dots on the map I figure about 15 miles today.
Not too drastic, far from extreme elevation gain (but just try the first 1.5 miles of Mt. Washington, it is a good conditioning hike), but very worth it.
There are numerous trails and mysterious paths intersecting Iron Horse and I will check out as many as I possibly can. One little path led to a little stream smack next to old railroad rails:
Next weekend I will be on a golf weekend in eastern Washington, returning Sunday, but Derek and I are planning a hike on Memorial Day.
And Derek: by the way, I believe that Mailbox Peak road is open from 3:30 PM Friday to 7:00 AM Monday so maybe we can test our legs and cardio fitness on Mailbox really early some Saturday or Sunday.