- Whitewater Trailhead – Jefferson Park – Park Ridge – back down to & camp at Scout Lake – Whitewater Trailhead
- Total mileage: about 11 or 12 miles
- Trail conditions: smooth trail through pine forests, gently upill till the creek crossing before you hit the PCT. After that there was no trail visible, as almost completely covered under snow. I assume it’s easy hiking through Jeff Park once the snow is gone though ;-P
Mid July 2017: We sleep at a pull out along the forest road that takes one to the Whitewater Trailhead. It’s nice and quiet but I don’t sleep too well. Somehow we didn’t select a perfectly flat spot, and while that didn’t bother me much in the past, right now my hips can’t deal with it. I wake up in pain and my hips tell me to never again not sleep on a flat spot. I am not sure if I can walk today. But we drive up to the trailhead anyway and head out. I go slow and as lightly and careful as I can. Next level would be floating. But I haven’t learned that yet so I try to put my feet down as soft and kind as possible. As long as I go slow. Slow will take me places too.
The whitewater trail goes up thru an old pine forest and is lined with blooming bear grass. Bearrrr grassss I looove it. Like small lighthouses popping up at the side of the trail. Shining bright and smelling like nectar heaven. They make me think of yucca, though completely different (in size), also very alike. A new favorite… Next to the columbine, tiger lilly, hippies on a stick, paintbrushes,… O well they’re all my favorite.
We take our shoes off for the creek crossing, cause I can’t hop over the rocks (I can’t jump yet or take ‘dynamic’ steps) and it’s a quick and easy (but icy cold ) crossing. As soon as we’re past the creek the snow starts increasing and by the time we reach the PCT the trail is almost entirely covered in snow. It’s fun though to do some routefinding (with our gps as a backup it’s not too much of a risk) and some tracking and feel like we’re the only humans left on earth. The silence is a vibrant one. I can almost hear the creatures who are still burried under snow shout out their longing for the snow to melt. The only ones peeking out are the pine trees and the birds who fly over our heads and sing the song of living the short summer to the fullest. I imagine it’s just me and Roots left and it gives me a certain feeling of peace. It’s all so quiet except for the creek of melting water we hear rushing under the snow and the sound of our footsteps. We walk halfway up Park Ridge, drink the amazing view and then return to Scout Lake to camp. It’s a perfect campspot between the lake shore and the snow.
When the sun sets the full moon rises behind Seekseekqua/Mt. Jeff and makes the sunset even more epic. The alpenglow mirrors in the water of Scout Lake and it’s magical. My hips are happy though when they finally get to lay down.
I sleep like a baby on this perfect spot of land and when we head back down to the trailhead we try to follow our tracks back. Most of them are hardly visible anymore. The snow is melting fast. We get to the creek crossing mid morning and the water is at least a foot lower than yesterday. An extra rock now is above water and we can just cross by stepping from rock to rock. We ‘cruise’ (slooow) down, take in the smell of the bear grass, and bammmm another hike my new growing hip survived! Life is sweet baby!!