Icicle Gorge

 

JUNE 27, 2010 A Mountaineers BWT hike.  It was a beautiful day for this long loop hike along the Icicle Creek.  The trail starts at the Ida Creek Campground, where the Icicle Creek Road washed out in floods two years ago.  We passed a troop of Boy Scouts on the short by-pass trail, where they told us of a great backpacking experience.  Or not--a few boys were silent or merely grimaced and exchanged curt "hellos" through gritted teeth as they marched by.  It was easy to tell who had a good time and who did not!  As we turned to begin our brief road hike, we encountered a last Scout, alone and afraid, who had lost sight of his troop.  We pointed him in the right direction and headed to the Chatter Creek Guard Station. 

Icicle Creek was roaring through the Gorge, and we stopped at the bridge as we crossed to admire the beauty and power as it rushed by.  We hiked beautiful Icicle Creek Gorge trail to its end at Rock Island, stopped for lunch at the campground, then took a short hike along the Jack Pine and Jack Creek trails, where the wildflower show was disappointing at best.  The meadow is still beautiful with views of Icicle Ridge, so it was not a wasted side trip.  We hiked out on the other side of the Gorge, where the woods are deeper and older than the woods we had hiked through earlier.  Although the wildflowers were pretty, they did not compare with my hike here last year.  We did, however, see and hear enough birds to  on this trip to satisfy the birders in our group, and almost before we realized it, we were back at the trailhead. 

 9 miles

500' gain