Smithfield Canyon, 14 February, 2021

Thirteen Cache Hikers turned out for the Smithfield canyon winter trip, Dave W., Jane, Dave P., Kathy, Susan, David, Michelle, Robert, Brent, Ralph, Richard, Ophelia, and Dan (the leader).  Jack joined us on the trail, for a total of 14 participants.  Most were on snowshoes but Dave W., Jane, Brent, Dave P. and Jack were on cross-country skis.  We started out about 10:45 a.m. in cold temperatures and six inches of fresh snow.  .

We broke trail uphill through the beautiful new snow with cold fingers next to the quiet sounds of Summit Creek. Ophelia turned back before lunch to meet friends. Upon reaching the gate and summer trailhead most of the group stopped for lunch about 12:15. Four hikers, Dave W, Michelle, Ralph and Dan, continued up the trail for a short distance to the South Fork Summit Creek crossing, before returning for lunch with the others.  Kathy and Jane shared chocolates and cookies to help celebrate this Valentine's Day activity. 

After lunch we started back down about 1:00, separating into groups with the faster skiers going ahead.  Dan, Susan and Dave P. stopped to watch black-capped and mountain chickadees and take pictures of the snowy slopes.

We regrouped at the bottom near the bridge and arrived at the cars at approximately 2 p.m.

Trip Summary:
  • Participants:  Skiers Dave W., Brent, Dave P., Jack and Jane, and snowshoers Dan (leader), Kathy, Susan, Ralph, Ophelia, Michelle, David, Robert and Richard
  • Drove 11 miles to the Forest Boundary in Smithfield Canyon
  • Started 10:45, lunch 12:15 - 1:00, back at the beginning 2:00
  • 6 inches new snow, overcast skies, calm winds and comfortable temperatures (it warmed up a bit after a cool start)
  • About 4.8 miles round trip and 650 feet of ascent/descent for most participants (another 0.4 miles and 90 feet of elevation for those going on to South Fork Summit Creek).

Thanks to Dan for the narrative and photos, Dave P., Ralph and Ophelia for photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.

Near the beginning of our trip
Nordic United volunteers have been grooming the trail
The freshly fallen snow was nearly untracked
The trail closely follows Summit Creek
The leaders are not lost
Almost to the gate
South Fork
A few traveled on to South Fork Summit Creek
Lunch at the trailhead gate
Snowy Trail
Skiing back down
Snow-covered trees over the trail
Our GPS track shows about 4.8 miles and 650 feet of ascent and descent (or 5.2 miles and 740 feet of ascent and descent for those who traveled on to South Fork Summit creek).  You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.