West Creek Falls Spring Gallery
With my visit to West Creek Falls this past weekend, 31Falls, the project I thought would take me a year to complete back when I began, has finally reached the 50% completion point! I now have visited the various falls of Rocky Mountain National Park 62 times. A few of the metrics I’ve tracked for this project:
- Number of hikes: 31
- Total Mileage hiked: 229.4 miles
- Total Falls Completed: 8
- Bridal Veil, Calypso, Chasm, Copeland, Horseshoe, Lyric, Ouzel, West Creek
- Falls yet to be visited: 7
- Cascade, Columbine, Grace, Granite, Lost, North Inlet, War Dance
- Number of ‘good’ photos: 510
- Anticipated Completion date (on current schedule….): January 1, 2025!
Lyric Falls Spring Gallery
Horseshoe Falls Spring Gallery
Windy Gulch Spring Gallery
Marguerite Spring Gallery
Fern Falls Spring #9
Another long lay-off between waterfall posts. It is what it is. Spring is returning to the Rocky Mountains, and so am I.
I hiked up to Fern Falls on a foggy Sunday morning, not seeing another human for hours. Climbing the last switchback before these falls, however, I did hear the low bass huffing noise of a bear somewhere upslope of me. After my initial response, consisting entirely of freezing in place and straining my ears to place the noise, I broke out into song, in the hopes that my atonal vocals would prove unappetizing. I never saw the bear, but I did see the rapidly flowing waters over Fern Falls.
Glacier Falls Spring Gallery
The final batch of photos from the long hike taken at the end of Spring. I was just back at these falls two days ago, and will be posting the Summer photographs for comparison in the coming days.
Chaos Canyon Cascades Spring Gallery
I’m writing this post early on a Friday night with every intention of pressing ‘Publish’ then immediately crawling into bed so that I can wake up before any sane person should on a Saturday morning to go back to this (among other) waterfall. I visited it in the late spring, as part of the unexpectedly long hike that I’ve posted about already.
Finding this falls took care, as it is another that is off the trails enough that there aren’t even any obvious paths to follow to it. It is also a tricky falls to photograph as the cascades tumble down the mountainside for almost a quarter mile, losing hundreds of feet of elevation at the same time in a narrow crease between the mountains. Hiking to it in the late spring, I had terrifying visions of losing my footing on the unavoidable snow fields and then tumbling like the water beside be, unable to arrest myself. Tomorrow, I hope, will be easier as the long days of summer should have melted even the most stubborn of snows. How I will return to photograph these during the winter, when the snows are even more treacherous and conditions less stable, is something I’ll chose to deal with when the time comes.
Climbing up above Alberta Falls, I thought I would visit Glacier Falls and call it a day. By the time I crested the last rise of rock and saw Mills Lake spread out in the valley, I didn’t want to stop. Just a couple more miles and I’d be at Ribbon Falls, one of the Park’s falls I’d not yet seen. Sure, I was already nearly out of water and hadn’t brought any food (it was to be a really short hike this morning, after all), but how hard could it be to skirt the lake and see something new.
As it turns out, not hard at all. Ribbon Falls took a little scrambling and post-holing through late season snow drifts, but was surrounded by fields of small wildflowers blooming in the morning light. As I set up the tripod and started taking photos, the fine mist that had started ‘falling’ around me began to shift into a light snow. In June. This I wasn’t ready for and so soon was scrambling back down the valley with the weather at my back.
Ribbon Falls Spring Gallery
Started out during the last few days of a wet spring to visit a couple of the falls in the Glacier Gorge area. Little did I know that it would be such a great morning that I would just keep going and see a couple of the falls that I’ve yet to visit for this project. But first I stopped at Alberta Falls to find it roaring with the heavy spring run-off under the early dawn sun.