second hike on east side; avalanche alley

June 15, 2009

there is a lot of flowing water somewhere under there.

Just under six miles from the farm is the remains of what some say is the biggest avalanche to happen in the area in the past ten years.  If you look in the upper right of the picture above you will see Erica and hopefully be able to fully appreciate the size of the slide.  The Hurricane Creek canyon got it’s name from the first settlers comparing the destruction from the avalanches to that of a hurricane.  The slide happened three or four thousand feet above the creek in a small tributary canyon.  Gaining speed and debris as it fell, the slide slammed into the stream went across the canyon up a small ridge and over it, flattening trees and destroying everything in it’s path.  When it finally stopped it had completely covered the stream for more than two hundred yards.  Our first view of the slide was hurricane creek flowing out from under it.  We then hiked up the drainage where the avalanche started and found where a waterfall had been carving away underneath the ice.  Climbing down the waterfall to get to the stream bed was a little scary but being underneath the avalanche was amazing.

amature geologist at work

While I crawled around underneath it Erica was inspecting the rocks that the avalanche had unearthed and found what appears to be some copper.  For a seven mile round trip this hike this was pretty cool, we also found some morels and a bunch of what must be mountain goat hair.  The trail head is at the end of hurricane creek road just five miles south of joseph.  This trail is a great and lesser used way into the wilderness area (for those of us who don’t like to see other people on our pristine hiking experiences).

basalt vein


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