Cottonwood Canyon - Jardine Juniper Loop, 27 June, 2021
It’s been hot, and this hike has a notorious steep and exposed ridge section. Nevertheless 7 hikers ventured forth: Cameron, April, Joan, Jane P, Jane E, Dave W, and Dave P (leader). We were pleased to find lower Cottonwood Canyon shady and lush with wild geranium, thimbleberry, and cow parsnip. We reached the ridge and climbed up slowly, stopping at the shade of the occasional limber pine to let the sweat evaporate. At the Jardine Juniper we took a snack break near the gigantic base of the tree. Above the tree we took the shady route and again appreciated the cool forest with wild roses and ferns. After the Cottonwood Canyon turn off into the Wilderness the trail was much brushier. A woodpecker was observed in some burned trees. We picked a breezy spot for lunch before dropping down into Cottonwood. As the trail crossed the South Fork we heard and then saw water gushing from a large spring. The trail down Cottonwood Canyon was slippery with small rocks in places and pretty brushy. The canyon had dramatic cliffs and intermittent water visited by butterflies.
Thanks to Dave P. for the narrative and photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.