Iron Horse to Zig Zag 12/26/15

Look at me!
Look at me!

After a week of relatively little exercise, due to my busy schedule, I thought I would ease back into hiking with an easy stroll down the Iron Horse trail, from Rattlesnake Lake.  My goal was to find the point where the (almost mythical) Zig Zag trail intersects the Iron Horse.

I found a trail about where Zig Zag is supposed to be, but my gps track differs a bit from a Zig Zag track I found on the web.  So, if what I found isn’t Zig Zag I can keep looking a bit east and Derek and I can investigate the trail that I found.

One thing about Iron Horse is there are so many trails, official and unofficial, that intersect it that you could spend a very long time investigating them all.  By my count there were almost a dozen between Rattlesnake and where I turned around.  Some of them may be dead ends, some may lead to adventure.

I will check them all out sooner or later.

While this hike was far from grueling – there was little in the way of elevation gain – the fact that much of the trail was covered in snow made progress a bit tough.

The snowy section of the trail
The snowy section of the trail

Lots of people out today and Iron Horse (aka John Wayne at this point) is a very family-friendly trail.  I saw quite a few families with mom and dad and one or more kids being carried in various contraptions, just like Derek carries Finley and Camden.

I also took a small detour down to the Exit 38 parking lot, where we park when we do Mt. Washington or Change Creek – or Zig Zag in the future.  I had heard it was snowbound and it is.  There were a number of cars but they all parked short of the lot, filling both sides of the road right up to the point where the snow was so deep it was essentially unpassable.

I determined that this would be a great place to start our planned family snowshoeing outing that we have planned for New Year’s Day.  But it is unlikely we could get the whole crew up early enough to grab one of the coveted parking spots.

Looking northwest from Change Creek bridge
Looking northwest from Change Creek bridge

Anyway, you don’t have to climb to the summit of the mountains around here to get wonderful mountain views.  And there is so much eye candy around that I was almost indifferent to this very cool and energetic waterfall:

Waterfall
Waterfall

A splendid little hike, about 12.7 miles altogether, in the summer this would have been trivial but in the snow?  Fun!

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