Harmony Falls - Independence Ridge

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Leader: Chris Stockdale
Ext Trp: 5 miles, 1000 ft (Moderate)

We had the Harmony Falls trail to ourselves and enjoyed the experience of being among the stricken trees edging Spirit Lake. The climb out made us all realize we were pretty tired from previous hikes this week and decided not to hike Independence Pass since we had done a good portion of it on our Margaret Mountain hike. We saw on the trailmap at the trailhead that there was an unnamed trail leading from the Smith Creek trailhead to Windy Point and decided to try that. Did we ever make the right decison! This was a spectacular trail in that it followed a promontory jutting out over Spirit Lake, offering fantastic views not only of the lake, but also of Mts. Hood, Adams and Rainier. The trail did have a few tricky spots to negotiate where the trail cut into a steep cliff. It ended at the top of the staircase that leads up from the Windy Ponit parking lot to the viewpoint. And to top off the whole experience, while we were having lunch overlooking the lake, a bald eagle soared and circled around us before heading off towards Windy Point. What a treat.

Members: Chris Stockdale, Lynn Meacham, Daphne James.

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