Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Paradise Valley Conservation Area ~ December 1, 2011

We went for a very chilly hike at the Paradise Valley Conservation Area. I think temperatures stayed in the 30 degree range while we hiked! There was a lot of fog as well. It was nice to be outside and get some exercise and fresh air though, despite the cool weather.

I haven't been to this area before, but I will definitely be back. I printed a map to bring with me as this is one of those places that has a variety of looping trails.

We walked from the parking lot on the mainline trail and cut off on the Wetland Plateau Trail. We ate lunch where the trail ended at the Southern Traverse Trail and then turned around and headed back the way we came. We walked almost 2 miles round trip. This was plenty long as everyone was ready to warm up when we got back to the parking lot!

We encountered some mud on the trail, one viewpoint of Mt. Baker that would have been nice if we weren't fogged in, several other hikers and a couple of leashed dogs.

The brochure (found in the map link above), says that the parking lot can be full on busy weekends. I would save this hike for the off season or weekday times to avoid the crowds.

Found lots of very large, yellow leaves. I think they are Black Cottonwood? Someone correct me if I'm wrong. :)

I also noticed many pieces of wood and branches that had hair ice on them. I've never seen anything like it. It was really pretty. At first I thought it was some kind of slime mold or fungus.

Here are the fungus pictures:

I thought this was a cool picture of the leaf stabbed on a sharp branch.

Happy trails!

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