We got to the visitors center late morning and wanted to enjoy a real hike inside of the park. We met a crotchety older female ranger who insisted we were physically unable to endure the ‘scramble’ down to the river bottom. “Unlike anything you’ve ever done, beyond hard.” When we said we were going to go and needed a pass, they said come back tomorrow. We inquired why, said we had plenty of daylight and they just shook their heads, saying “we’ll if you don’t put this in the box by tomorrow morning we’ll have to come looking for you.”
We hiked…scrambled (she was right) down the scree, sliding mostly. Our thighs getting a nice work out on the 1.5 mile trip down. We had to use the chain during difficult times and after about an hour, we made it safely to the river.
They, the park, have a problem bear. Guess he likes to get a little too friendly with the visitors, wanting to share lunch and maybe give massages. So we had a quick lunch, took a dip in the very fresh, rapid waters (days away from a predicted 6,800 CFS-not joking) and made way back to the top.
Total trip: 3 hours. The unhappy Ranger asked “well, did you get enough hiking in then today?” We smiled and replied “it was fantastic!”