Miles 301 to 318
Hot springs right on the trail. How fun is that. We had seven miles to reach them. Luckily the morning dawned much warmer than forecasted and that made packing quicker. We were on the trail at 6:40, even though we slept an hour longer than usually.
The trail continued yesterday’s trend. We proceeded up a canyon, following the river that run at its bottom but unlike the river we had many more ups and downs on our way.
The hot springs are fed from a stream flowing from the mountains. Right where the stream reaches the river, beautiful rock bands form natural tubs that are filled with the pleasing warm water.
Dave and I stayed for about half an hour, dipping our sore feet. It felt really good.
After the hot springs the trail continued in the very same fashion. It dropped us down where we crossed the river on a bridge and then we continued on the other side of the canyon. The scenery remained similar, a narrow trail edged into the mountain side paralleling the flow of the water with its rolling nature.
It took us another five miles to walk out and once we did we could cherish a sight of a waterless dam to which we descended and crossed it’s spillway before the trail dropped us into the trees. We were supposed to ford a creek here but found logs to cross on and for next half mile or so had us on a flat grade along the bubbling water.
In the next three miles we climbed 800 feet of elevation, contouring the shape of the mountain side through a another burn area.
At mile 318 we found a good water source and camping area that very easily fit all three of our tents and we called it a day.