Winter Walk to Crystal Falls

Today was positively balmy for a January day with temperatures above freezing-a welcome relief from the bone chilling weather  we experienced last week.

So, we decided to try and get down to Crystal Falls, just south of Greenwood.
I don’t recommend it this time of year if there is ice or snow on the ground.

Don’t get me wrong. The walk up to the point of descending to the falls was fine. The snow wasn’t deep at all, and it was well traveled. Snowmobiles had been  on the road and so it was packed down.

Some little kitten lost this mitten on the way to Crystal Falls
Some little kitten lost this mitten on the way to Crystal Falls

But as we hiked along, we met a young couple who told us it was slippery going down to the falls. Did I listen? Noooooo.

Marker to ascend to Crystal Falls
Marker to ascend to Crystal Falls
Working our way down to the falls
Working our way down to the falls

I make it sound much worse than it was. I actually got down and back up in one piece- but it was very slippery going down. It made me question my rash decision and consequent insistence on going as far as the falls-hubby didn’t want to, really.
Working our way from tree to tree, we got to the bottom, where  I promptly stepped in over my hiking boots into a hidden and large water hole.

Surprise!A hidden water hole
Surprise!A hidden water hole

Retracing our steps to climb back up the hill, I fell into the same water hole. Glad it was warm today.

What You Need to Know About Hiking Crystal Falls in Winter

Find directions to Crystal Falls here.

This time,we turned right and went down and across the  snowmobile bridge and returned the same way.It’s slightly over 4 km round trip-about a km less than doing the round trip  and certainly safer than try to tackle the rocky David Morse Trail end .

Snowmobile bridge
Snowmobile bridge

Even though it’s short as hikes go, it’s still a good idea to carry  snacks and water.  Winter hiking burns at least 400 calories hour. You need to be able to refuel.

Tell somebody where you are going and when you expect to be back in case you run into trouble.  Don’t just assume there will be cell service.

Never hike in winter (or anytime, really) alone.  The darkness comes early and that usually means colder temperatures. Weather can change in an instant.

Watch where you step. You may think it’s a simple in and out hike, but even the most sure footed among us could slip and fall.

Dress in layers.

Enjoy the fresh air and winter beauty. Have fun.