The first time I visited Fish Creek a couple months ago - one of the eight times it's open this year - I was part of a Meetup group that was 40 people strong and clogged the single track trail, which was already overcrowded by the throngs of hikers who took advantage of the rare public opening.
I felt rushed. I felt claustrophobic. And, partially because I carpooled instead of driving myself, I didn't get to take all the photographs I wanted to take.
So this weekend, I went back, alone, my solo arrival scoffed at by my shuttle van driver, who warned me to be careful and try to make it back by 2:30.
"Don't worry," I said, "I'm not going to do the whole thing."
I'd already seen the creek. I'd already seen the canyon. I'd already seen the waterfall.
But I had not seen nearly enough of the wildflowers...
...which were bustin' out all over even more this time than back in April.
I don't know if it was because of my relatively late arrival (less than an hour before the last shuttle up to the trailhead), or because Fish Creek has already been open a couple of times this year, or because I didn't arrive with 40 other people, but for the greater part of my hike, I was mostly alone out there.
I only heard the creek. I didn't hear any chatter.
And when anyone passed me, I was surprised.
And they seemed surprised to see me.
I figured I'd find more people at the waterfall, where hikers cliff-dive and dip and soak and rest, but I had no intention of going that far.
Instead, I only went as far as the poppies, and then I turned around and returned to the shuttle to take me back down to my car.
Photo Essay: Fish Canyon & Creek, Limited Access
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