Middle of March and the weather forecast was predicting a sunny day on one of my days off from work. Getting out in the mountains to enjoy it was on the top of my list of things to do. But this time of year still means snow on most of our trails, and from early spring hikes in years past, I have discovered that some trails remain quite shadier and colder than others. We know that Ward Mountain gets sunshine, so that's where we decided to go. Since we were likely to need snowshoes at some point along the way, we strapped them to our packs and headed out for some afternoon fun on the mountain.
We started out with a little bit of snow at the trailhead, but not enough to wear our snowshoes yet. As we hiked up the switchbacks on the south facing hillside, we had some bare ground to hike on for a bit. This is where I discovered my first buttercup of the year. :) When we got up to the ridge, we were back to snow once again.
We checked the snow level at our break spot and found it to be about 3 feet deep at that point. It's funny how it doesn't seem like it when you are staying on top of it with skis or snowshoes. After a short break, we enjoyed zig-zagging our way back down the mountain on fresh snow without any tracks but the ones we were leaving behind us. The wind was a little chilly, but the sun balanced it out, and the views were beautiful. Oh, how I love being on the mountain! :)
As we neared the trailhead on our way back out, the girls found a rock to sit on while I took in the views around me and snapped a few more photos. (They've learned that when I get my camera out, they might as well take a seat for a bit.)
It was getting late in the day, and the sun was lowering through the scorched trees that are still standing from the Roaring Lion Fire of 2016. I found the sun, burned trees, and cast of shadows to be an interesting combination.
The two photos below of the Sapphire Mountains on the other side of the valley were taken from back at the trailhead.
I hope you enjoyed coming along on my mountain adventure. I'd love it if you would leave me a comment and hit the "like" button. See you in the next post. :)