Monday, June 22, 2015

June Full Moon Hike

 Great Basin National Park holds full moon hikes during the summer, and we had never been so I took Desert Boy to the one in early June. We had to get tickets to attend the event, and we got the last one at about 2 in the afternoon. This is a popular hike!

As we drove up the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, we were treated to some beautiful evening views.

The summit trailhead parking lot was full. Before long Ranger Steve started the program. It was colder than we thought it would be--30 degrees cooler than the valley bottom, hence all the coats you see in the photo. It was still rather light, but we would have a leisurely stroll to Stella Lake with stops--and no lights.

The aspens hadn't yet started budding out. At our stops we learned about various things. One of the coolest things was looking at the earth's shadow as our planet spun.

It's an interesting experience going on a hike with 40 other people.

Desert Boy had decked himself out with his junior ranger paraphernalia, and before long we were hanging out with the rangers at the end of the group. Steph graciously answered all sorts of Desert Boy's questions and kept him entertained.

It was fun seeing the moon appear over the horizon.

I kept stopping to take photos of it and switching lenses to try to capture it best for the Full Moon Challenge.

As we hiked, the appearance of the moon kept changing.

When we got to Stella Lake, the moon was hidden behind the ridge. But it gradually rose, lighting up the snow-covered slopes of Wheeler Peak.

And then the moon crested the ridge, reflecting in the lake.

It was a fun experience, and we'd love to go on more moonlit hikes without flashlights.

Have you ever been on a full moon hike? July has two full moons, July 1 and July 31.

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