Friday, September 23, 2016

Hiking the New Serviceberry Trail, Great Basin National Park

The weather forecast was perfect--warm and clear, and Jenny and I hadn't been on the Serviceberry Trail up Snake Creek in Great Basin National Park. We decided it was time! We were joined by some friends to make a big group hike after school one day. It was a warm day, in the 80s.

The trail was just finished last year, although the designer is quick to point out that it's not totally finished, some of the trail needs work to make it more level (a lot of it is sloped and off camber, which can make difficult footing for some, but the trail itself is easy to follow). It's either 3.2 or 3.6 miles long, depending on which sign you believe.

Little Willow was so ready to go hiking!

Hiking with a bunch of kids is lots of fun, as they entertain each other. And it's nice to get some adult talk in, too.

Desert Boy also brought along a book. My little bookworm.

We also brought some walkie-talkies and the kids took turns using them (or fought about if it was their turn).

The kids wanted frequent breaks, and we taught them to stop in the shade. At one stop, Desert Girl pulled out her notebook and started sketching. It totally took me by surprise!

Finally we finished going up the sunny, steep switchbacks and made it to the other side of the ridge. There we found an awesome granite boulder for the kids to climb.

This part of the trail was full of surprises, like this beautiful aspen stand.

Desert Girl took lots of photos. Like over 150! I still haven't downloaded those.

We saw some flowers still blooming, like these lupine.

I really enjoyed the aspen grove and the granite boulders.

The aspens were turning colors and were so beautiful. It was getting late, as we started the hike after school and the sun was now going down behind the mountains.

Some of the kids were getting a little tired (especially Desert Boy), but they kept hiking; they didn't have much other choice.

Desert Girl kept taking photos.

Here's Jenny coming up the trail.

Then we popped back over the ridge and saw some gorgeous aspen colors up towards Pyramid Peak. The buckwheat was another flower still blooming strong.

The trail went further to the west than I expected, allowing for some really nice views of riparian aspen and sagebrush-covered hills. There's mountain mahogany in the foreground and white fir in the background.

More fall colors

I got distracted taking photos and some of the group got ahead of me. Can you see them in the photo below?

Little Lily was getting tired. Jess got extra exercise carrying her almost the whole way.

The last part of the trail went through the riparian area next to Snake Creek.

It was time for a run once we spotted the vehicles!

At the finish, the kids were rewarded with popcorn.
It was a really fun hike, with friends through a variety of habitats. We had been told it was an easy, rolling trail, but I would classify it as moderate. There's more elevation gain than I expected (650+ feet), with some steep switchbacks on one side. It took us about three hours to hike the 3+ miles with kids and lots of stops. Thanks to everyone who came with!

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