05/05/2019 at 6:57 pm #2897MikeHParticipant
Thanks to Chris’ suggestion, I set aside Trail Fork Springs and took Mika on the Forsee Creek Trail to Columbine Springs Camp.
Stop by the ranger station on the way up, ask about current conditions and toss a couple bucks into the donation box. It’s good trail karma. 🙂
Road to trailhead is a bit rough for a regular car. You can park down lower and walk up
Still a few spots of snow on the trail. I brought crampons and used them a couple of times.
Trail was washed out in a couple places. Some detour obvious, some less so (see pic with red arrow). Take your time and you’ll do fine.
Plenty of water everywhere including a very nicely flowing river at Columbine Spring Camp.
Now for the details for those interested… and pics of course.
Took Mika on the Forsee Creek Trail to Columbine Spring Camp over this weekend. First time for me on this trail. About 5.5 miles one way.
The road to the trailhead is a bit rough. I have a Civic and it made it, but was not a fun ride. Ruts and rocks.
Most of the trail was clear but there were some snowy parts that took care to cross. I brought crampons and used them a couple times. Those parts were slushy on the way up and more solid on the way down. It’s *doable* without traction devices depending on your skill level, but safer with, of course. I was glad I had crampons with me.
Trail was washed out in a couple places. Water in the rivers was running well. Cross with care. Plenty of water at Columbine Spring in the river coming through the camp.
If you’ve never done this trail before, be prepared for quite a climb out of John’s Meadow Camp. The ranger at the office told me not to count on water at Columbine, so I filled up 4 liters at the river. That plus the two I had made for a heavy pack climbing out of that canyon.
Columbine Spring Camp is down the hill from the junction of the SB Peak/ Limber Pine/ John’s Meadow/ Columbine Spring sign. You’ll like the downhill after climbing up from John’s Meadow… you’ll hate it in the morning when you leave. It’s about .5 miles so it’s over pretty quick though.
Still a bit of snow at Columbine camp. It was me and two other campers and we were all able to find spots. It’s very quiet down there with only the sound of the river as background noise.
05/06/2019 at 5:04 pm #2898Ranger LonParticipant
Thanks for the intel. I will pass the word about water being plentiful at Columbine. We have suspected there might be water running, but had not recent reports telling us for certain.
Anyone seeing this post later in summer needs to be aware of the unreliability of this spring later in the year. Check with Mill Creek (or this forum) for updated info. With hikers like Mike and Chris sharing details like this, we all benefit.
05/06/2019 at 7:13 pm #2899MikeHParticipant
Glad to help, Ranger Lon. Will be interesting to see how this summer pans out with water. I hope everyone takes notice of your comment regarding how the water availability changes later in the season. These are good times right now, but guaranteed not to last.
Oddly enough, I only took one picture of the water at CS Camp. One of those things I meant to get more pictures of but didn’t.
It doesn’t really tell the story of how much water was running (for now) but here is the one I took for information’s sake.
If I remember correctly, this was about even with the Columbine Spring Camp sign (if you walked (north?) toward the river)
05/15/2019 at 7:21 am #2904chris in redlandsParticipant
Hey! Glad to hear the trip was a success. Being at Columbine is a real treat this time of year after a big winter. By summer there’s no water there at all, and one might wonder why anyone would ever bother to visit or camp there. Looks like you had a good outing!
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