Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Iron Goat Loop Trail

A couple of weeks ago on my way home from Leavenworth I decided to hike the Mountain Goat Loop - a former rail line that's been converted into a pretty hiking trail.

Several snow sheds were built to protect the trains from snow melt during the Spring.

Some were safe enough to go into, while others were far too dangerous. I actually began my hike behind a large group going into the snow sheds wearing hard hats, but I passed them quickly since they lingered in the tunnels much longer than I did.

There was a lot of beautiful foliage to see.

These large leaves reminded me of being in Hawaii.

Fortunately the path is mostly paved and easy to follow, but it seemed longer than the 5.7 miles it claimed to be.

I could see a couple of waterfalls, but they were too difficult to view from the surrounding trees.

These two were a bit easier to see, but they're more of what I call "vertical streams," rather than waterfalls.

This little tunnel feels nice and cool when you get close to it.

This snowshed was open, but you couldn't enter in more than a few feet.

There were some nice views of Steven's Pass as I climbed up to the upper loop.

Quite a bit of water was dripping down the snow sheds on the upper loop portion of the hike.

I hiked up to an overlook with these two vertical streams.

And found a few more tunnels

Along with this hole in the wall.

I saw an extremely large tunnel as I was finishing the upper loop.

But I continued for a 1/4 mile off the loop hike to go see Windy Point.

The views of Steven's Pass and Surprise Creek Valley were beautiful.

I could see a pretty impressive waterfall in the distance, but I can't seem to find its name if it has one. Surprise Creek Falls?

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