I declare I have a new found interest and appreciation for Prairie Mountain!
Today, Double D and I went on a mission to find the new route that descends off the west ridge of Prairie Mountain to Prairie Creek which makes the hike a loop. This descent route is supposedly gentler, so easier on the knees and also a loop is always more appealing. I had been up this mountain seven times before and always returned the same way, making it an in and out trip.
The hike up went very quickly and before we knew it, we had arrived to the first open area. It looked surreal with the clouds hoovering below the mountain peaks. This was the prettiest I have ever seen this view from here.
(even though it is still summer)
The meadow area just before the summit exploded with gold and orange.
We made our way further along the ridge and came upon the cairn which was our sign to hang a left and begin our descent. At this point we stopped for a snack and checked our directions. We were to watch for cairns and flagging and paint markings.
Between the cairns, the pink and orange flagging and the painted spots, the trail was easy to follow and in sections it was very well defined. There were other naturally occurring colors too which were much prettier.
We descended through the marked forest and met up with the Prairie Creek Trail.
We found a nice opening and made this our spot for lunch.
How fitting that the coating on the rum ball matched my jacket.
The trail led down hill to where we then hiked parallel to Prairie Creek which was a nice place to be with the sound of the gently flowing water. We reached the gate and closed it behind once passing through.
I collected my Peakery Badge to show this was my eighth time completing the hike. I can now say I hiked the Prairie Mountain Loop and from here on in, if I do it again, it will definitely be the Loop. We even chatted about there being potential for making this a snowshoe trip. This was a great way to spend a day where I needed more time at home getting ready for something big, then out playing.