Begin at Waikiacus which is the Lower Swale Creek Canyon TH. Walked to 27/7 trestle which is where I ended the Harms Rd TH hike in January. Lots of fragrant Desert Parsley along trail, did acquire one small tick. The trail was, of course, very rocky as a former rail line and the multiple trestles we crossed were all in good shape. The creek was pretty full with delightful sounds.
Beautiful warm day, saw 5 bikers and 2 hikers. All smiling and friendly but clearly suffering a bit from the heat. The canyon hills were a beautiful emerald green with dying Balsam Root and Desert Parsley patches, just lovely. The trail was lined with Desert Parsley, very aromatic, enjoyed the aroma as we walked the road. Near the southern part of the trail where we turned around we saw some Camas, Larkspur and Lupine. Plenty of birds as well with constant chirping.
We saw 3 lizards, I think they are the side blotched lizard, but difficult to get a photo since they moved into the shade when they saw us. Glimpses of 2 frogs, one tiny lime green I believe was a Pacific Tree Frog and the other
may have been a Western Toad. Couldn't capture either in a photo. My hiking partner is an excellent photographer
but had a camera malfunction so his quality photos aren't available but my phone shots are okay.
We had done this trail back in late fall 2011 and checking my photos it seems as if a number of cabins/debris/railroad accoutrements were much less that then, guess the cabins finally fell or burned and the other items were picked up by folks.
The Harms Rd canyon entry, in my opinion, is much more beautiful and fun to hike. Both trails are very rocky since former train tracks but the Harms entry would be worth your time except in the hot weather.
Stopped at Skamania Lodge for dinner and excellent as usual. Met an interesting couple from Castle Rock after dinner, very fun conversation and wonderful people.
This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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That's a fun hike. I also prefer the Harms Road approach. In addition to the scenery, I always enjoy looking at all the "shrines," "totems," and other artistic creations made from railroad spikes, animal bones, etc.