Wind Cave Way, 8 May 2021
On Saturday, May 8th, we met at the Wind Caves trailhead at approximately 8:30 a.m. Hikers included: Robert, Michelle & David, Dave P., Dave & Jane, Brent, Laurel, Ralph, and Ophelia. Trip leaders were Michelle & David. It was a chilly start due to a cold front that came through the day before. At the Wind Caves and Wind Caves Way junction, about 1 mile up, we forked off to the right onto Wind Caves Way and hiked up to Beirdneau Ridge. While we were ascending, we encountered very blustery conditions, but the ridge was mostly sunny and calm. We ate lunch at 10:50 a.m. on the ridge and the temperature was 47 degrees and sunny. The total hike took 4 hours 37 minutes, we hiked 6.3 miles round trip, and gained 2283 feet in elevation. We saw numerous wildflowers, including bluebells, arrowleaf balsamroot, yellow bells, water leaf, yellow violets, Oregon grape, and some spent steers head. Other plants we encountered included cut leaf balsamroot, larkspur, licorice root, and two different types of Lomatium. We arrived back at the trailhead at 1pm at the temperature was 60 degrees. It was a fun and rewarding hike.
Note: We were pleased to see that someone has put a lot of work into maintaining this trail. It is in MUCH better condition that our May 2017 trip.
Thanks to Michelle for the narrative and photos, Ralph, Ophelia, David and Jane for photos, and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.