Originally Posted by tmaggert
What are some of the best hikes/stops along the way? We'd like to get a few hikes in.
Also, are there any good caves for spelunking (exploring) on the trip? I've seen mentions of the Elk Bar Cave and Kaufman's Cave. Are they just shallow caves?
Thanks for the offer. I'll let you know later in the summer when we get closer.
don't know of any caves that you really even need much of a light. There is a crawl through cave at Cliffside camp that we have used as a sauna. It doesn't look like much but it is dark in there.
Elk Bar is a cool cave - the access is small and it looks like you are walking through a tent site. When you're hiking up the bench look at tent sites on your right - at the back of one of those is the cave - through the vegetation that is. It's really a big overhang.
There is a mining exploration tunnel at Pungo that is straight in barely big enough for two people but kind of cool. It only goes in 40 or 50 feet if I remember right.
Two of my favorite short hikes in the canyon are up to Nugget Creek. You stop at Parrot Placer's Cabin and then hike all the way up the creek that is a 100 feet or so upstream of the cabin. Just a few hundred yards up with multiple stream crossings. If it's a hot day this is the best spot to be.
The hike to Veil Falls is awesome, kind of bouldery down low and then a couple of trails form. Keep heading vaguely to the right of the overhand as you look up at it. Resist the temptation to hike out the bottom in the creek - where the mint grows - as it is kind of a nasty route.
Some of my favorite long hikes are up Loon Creek. Such a cool drainage. Up Big Creek which is where the Sheepeater "War" started and the hike to the top of Little Pine is pretty awesome - mostly vertical.
Others too. The hike to the hot springs at Mormon Ranch and....thinking.