|Bear Church Rock
The two women I was hiking with both plan to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in the Spring, so our climb on this day was not an issue for them. However, neither had seen the cabin, so we made a side trip to let them get the experience. We spent about 10 minutes wandering around and taking a couple of photos. From the cabin, we climbed steeply for about 20 minutes from the cabin turnoff to Bear Church Rock, where we had lunch and enjoyed the view. We spent a leisurely twenty minutes at the rock before heading further up the trail.
|Hiking in the snow.
At this point, we had a decision to make. We had been on the trail for over 3.5 hours, and had hiked a distance I later calculated to be 7.1 miles. We had about 3 hours of daylight left. Looking at the map, it appeared that continuing east then looping down the mountain to the north would be the quickest way back. But we were taking a chance, as we could see that the trail we would be taking crosses the Staunton River twice. We had to hope that we were far enough upstream that crossing would be possible.
|Hiking The Sag's access road
|The trail was dark and snow covered when we returned
to the Staunton River Trail
PATC Difficulty Factor: 343.9
Distance: 14.5 miles