ALL HIKERS

DAY 3: LOOP DAY HIKE DOWN KWAGUNT HOLLOW

     We get around, eat, and leave before 8:00 for our loop day hike down Ojojojo Canyon.  It's a lot of walking up Sowats Canyon until we come to the place where we start up on the south side.

Walking up Sowats Canyon
10-3-2014 @ 7:54
Walking up Sowats Canyon
10-3-2014 @ 8:11

     Then it's is a steep climb to the top on a nice trail.  There has been extensive work on several of the stair sections.  Near the top, we take break.

Stairs on the way to the top
10-3-2014 @ 8:19
Looking down on Sowats Canyon
10-3-2014 @ 8:23
A break near the top
10-3-2014 @ 8:43

     There is some pothole water up on the Esplanade, remnants of hurricane Rachel that dumped a lot of rain here last week.  We even find a rock similar to "Flying Saucer" rock on the Thunder River Trail.

On top
10-3-2014 @ 8:51
Pothole water
10-3-2014 @ 8:51
Flying Saucer Rock
10-3-2014 @ 8:58

     A small hill is nearby and Racetrack Knoll can be seen far in the distance.  Since we don't have time to attempt to make the top of Racetrack Knoll on this trip, as an alternative, I offer to take Adrian's picture if he will climb to the top of the small hill.  He respectfully declines.

A hill on top
10-3-2014 @ 9:00
The Esplanade
10-3-2014 @ 9:17
Racetrack Knoll
10-3-2014 @ 9:17

     Out in the middle of nowhere, we come to a trail sign advising us this is trail number 8, also known as the Jumpup-Nail Trail.  Pretty soon we pass Sowats Point, which is about a quarter mile north of the Jumpup-Nail trailhead parking lot.  Upon reaching the cottonwood trees at the head of Kwagunt and the base of the descent, we take an extended break.

Trail sign
10-3-2014 @ 9:19
Sowats Point
10-3-2014 @ 9:29

     After our break, we continue down Kwagunt on the south side until we find the trail that goes south through a notch in the hillside and ultimately to our descent point into Ojojojo Canyon.  Someone has set up camp here in Kwagunt.

Heading down Kwagunt
10-3-2014 @ 10:34
Someone's camp in Kwagunt
10-3-2014 @ 10:35
A tent in Kwagunt
10-3-2014 @ 10:35

     I've missed the exact entry into Ojojojo Canyon the first two times I went down it.  My first attempt I started down too soon and got cliffed out in the northern finger.  My second time down Ojojojo I started down too late and got cliffed out in the southern finger.  This time I lead the group down where I think our path will split my two prior entry points.  Somehow we are still off a little bit and wander around trying to find a way in.  We eventually angle to the north and scramble some to get into the canyon where we meet the guided group we saw yesterday.  Geez Louise, somehow we have gotten so far north that we are actually back in Kwagunt Hollow.  Go figure.  At least I'm a consistent zero for three for entries into Ojojojo.  However, being off track may be a blessing in disguise as we had intended to go up Kwagunt tomorrow and going down it is a lot easier than going up it.  We stop for lunch and meet a group of four guys headed for Showerbath Spring.

Walking down Kwagunt
10-3-2014 @ 12:54
Walking down Kwagunt
10-3-2014 @ 1:02

     This group of guys has not been down Kwagunt before, so I show them the correct bypasses around the two falls in lower Kwagunt.  The bypass around the lower falls is a little steep going down to the creek bed.  Just before reaching Jumpup Canyon, we take a break where the ladies opt for a little foot soaking time.

Approaching the waterfall
10-3-2014 @ 1:19
Below the waterfall
10-3-2014 @ 1:35
A good foot soak
10-3-2014 @ 2:14

     Since we are actually doing Kwagunt today, we agree to do a loop hike in the opposite direction tomorrow and go up Ojojojo Canyon.  On that hike, we will be walking the top of the Redwall starting where it meets the intersection of Kwagunt and Jumpup, bypassing the problems with going up Indian Hollow and encountering Steck's Obstacle Pool.  However, taking that route tomorrow means the group will not get to see the very narrow sections of Jumpup between Kwagunt and Indian Hollow.  Therefore, the group decides to walk Jumpup down to Indian Hollow right now and then backtrack up Jumpup and Sowats to camp.  I'm tired and am going to skip doing that, so I head back to camp.  Richard arrives in camp a few minutes after I do as he too has already been down the narrow sections of Jumpup.

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