Some things can never be fully appreciated through others. Not feelings of grief or joy, or how hot and cold feel on the skin and not how it feels to watch a dance of color against water and slate. Today had a pretty big WOW factor but I wonder if it will translate …

The hike is about 4 miles or so roundtrip, but don’t be thinking it’s a walk in the park. It climbs almost immediately, so you get your 1000+ feet of elevation in just shy of two miles. It’s the kind of hike that demands attention to each step. One errant stride on root or loose rock and the ankle will twist in a most unnatural way. And there are lots of rocks and roots. 

Last time I attempted this hike there was a sign that the bridge was out. It was early in the year so I took a pass. I had read that there is now a “makeshift bridge of logs” across the East Fork of Van Trump Creek so I figured I’d be fine. 

It’s confusing, but doable. 
Bottom line, there is still no bridge. 

15 feet across …

Three twenty-something young people came up behind me as I pondered where to cross. This is not a creek you want to fall into. There are a few rock-hop spots (never my first choice) or you can do as I did and walk upstream a bit to the two logs that (barely) pass for a bridge. The pre-showstopper here is a three-tiered plunge from Van Trump Creek known as Bloucher Falls.Yes, walk toward that. I had read about the mist in the sunlight and I wasn’t disappointed. Tricky light for a photo but quite impressive.


I got wet getting to those logs but made it across without incident. Good thing, because those three young people waited for me before heading across themselves. 

Your first clear look at Comet Falls is always a heart-stopper. It is a four-tiered waterfall (a tributary of Van Trump Creek), thirty feet wide and plummeting 320 feet into a pool below. There are two smaller tiers at the bottom, one 40 feet and one 20, that make this an impressive 380 foot waterfall. 

(On the approach there is about a ten foot section of eroded trail. Watch your step here. It’s a pretty nasty drop if you misstep.) 

I considered hiking UP the last mile to Van Trump Park but then the color-show started at the falls and I was mesmerized. I sat and enjoyed my snacks from the perfect sit-spot and was content to let this be my destination for the day. 

Two young people I captured enjoying the spray.

On the way down I finally saw a resident marmot and three pikas. The flower show is mostly over but there are still berries to be had ! You’ll get a little bit of everything on this hike, with the noticeable exception of crowds. It was a bit busy as I headed down but nothing like the conga lines at places like High Skyline trail at Paradise or Sourdough Ridge on the Sunrise side. 

4 more miles logged and I may return here sooner than I think. It’s a great alternative to most anything at Paradise in the heat (and crowds) of summer. My mileage totals will not be the WOW this month, but hopefully the beauty will. 

George Winston has a song on his Autumn disc that I love. It got in my head today and it will make it’s way back into my car for awhile. 

This was the soundtrack of the day. 

Listen here.

16 Comments on “Colors/Dance

    • Thank you ! Every single trip to that mountain is full of new surprises. I love it so … it is my happy place for sure.

  1. Wonderful images Bonnie. I love your photographic vision a d willingness to share what you see with us. And your patience to wait and see what/who shows up. Well done.

  2. Those rainbows were a gift. Thank you for sharing it with us. And what fabulous photos you got to capture all that colour – just wonderful. The waterfalls are also great and that’s coming from a spoiled waterfall-viewer, down here in the Columbia Gorge, heh heh. I think 1000 feet in 2 miles is plenty. Good for you.

  3. Gorgeous, Bonnie Rae! This looks & sounds like a hike I’d LOVE! And what a precious little face you captured! I’m enjoying the music from the link you shared. Have a great week! 🌞

  4. I read this beauty last night on my phone, but can’t respond there without my pw. Eye roll. I love the rainbow at the base of this water drop. Magical. You captured it so well. And what the heck with the picas? Do you drug them so you can photograph them? I agree with Nancy on the younguns. They were looking for guidance, perhaps disguised as concern. 😀

    • I know you are buried in book mentality when you call them picas 🙃 It’s that whole patience thing for me. I wait and eventually they come. I’m lucky like that. And thank you.

  5. You definitely caught the wow! Well photo’d for sure. And you know, those young people were nervous about crossing and wanted someone more experienced to show them the way. <3

    • I like the way you think !
      I figured it was a little of that and a little of wanting to make sure we all got across safely. Pretty much BIG WOW at the falls. I never tire of that view and I will return sooner than I thought.

        • Technically, I have hiked from all four points of entry. The Carbon River area is closed to all but foot and bike traffic now, but 40 years ago it was where I first hiked. I frequently adventure in the other three areas but there are still hikes I haven’t done in every area. So many places, so little time.

    • Thanks Jocelyn. It’s one of those hikes that seems easy on paper (it’s not) and it’s pretty hard to empasize too much how gorgeous it is !

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