Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cedar Creek

Saturday was another great day for pictures, so I headed off again towards Petit Jean Mountain. Instead of hiking to the bigwaterfall at Petit Jean, I tried another trail - the Cedar Creek trail. While this trail doesn't have a massive 95 foot waterfall, there are several great other falls to go and see.

The trail is short (only about 1.5 miles long) and yet it doesn't seem to attract as much attention as the other trails at Petit Jean. That's a shame, it's a great hike. I last hiked this trail in February, on a cold and snowy day. I was interested to see how the trail would look after all the rain we've had lately.

The trail starts out next to an old 19th century cabin, and drops down into the woods. Almost immediately, I heard a good deal of commotion through the trees. The noise was from a small creek, which had a nice series of small waterfalls along its run into Cedar Creek.


It was a Saturday, and I was amazed at how few people were out on this trail. I passed maybe six other people total, and almost always had the trail to myself.

Compared to my trip in February, there was much more water flowing through. This meant a lot more waterfalls to see.


I had barely made it far on the trail, I was too distracted by the numerous scenic spots along the creek.

The small creek has one last waterfall to tumble over before it meets up with Cedar Creek.

This was much more water than the last time I was here. This was the same falls, in February:
Along the Cedar Creek Trail

Just a few feet from the falls, the creek and trail both run into Cedar Creek. The trail passes by a neat rapid in the creek, surrounded by huge boulders that form an island in the waters.

And a closer view of a rock, holding up against the waters of Cedar Creek:

Just beyond, the trail crosses over a bridge and continues on the other side of the creek. Last time I hiked this trail, there was snow piling up on the wood of the bridge. I walked up past the bridge and got this view of the creek, being enclosed by trees and a nearbly bluffline.

And the view of the creek from the wooden bridge:

After crossing the creek, the trail continues up along the hillside and away from the creek. From the trail it sounded like Cedar Creek passed over a few other waterfalls, the noise of the creek could easily be heard. Eventually the trail drops back down close to the creek, running past this batch of wildflowers along the way.

The trail opens up to a view of the creek moving past a small bluff, with the high waters charging along beneath it.

And the same view in February:
Cedar Creek

The trail runs alongside the creek, and soon runs up to a neat little waterfall area. There is a small waterfall, made much powerful by the heavy amount of water passing through. I wasn't able to get a good shot of it last time I was there, and again wasn't able to get a good shot of it this time. But I was able to get this shot of another little waterfall, formed by the high waters of the creek.

Just upstream from the falls, the trail runs under this massive boulder. The huge rock rests against a bluff, and trail passes right under. The high water along the creek had spilled over onto the path, so I paused here for some shots before I went out into the water.

This is the view from under the big boulder. The trail is underwater here. It was mostly shallow, but part of it was ankle deep. I hiked the rest of the short trail with soaked shoes.

The trail quickly runs up to another bridge over Cedar Creek, right above another neat waterfall spot.

I crossed the bridge and found a shot that managed to incorporate my two favorite photography subjects (paths heading off into the distance and waterfalls). Just look beyond the footprints on the bridge, which were caused by my soggy shoes walking past.

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