So it's August in DC... and that translates to HOT! Which means the perfect way to end a hike is with a splash!!! Everyone loved the refreshing waterfalls on the camping trip and wanted an encore, so here it is.
We will hike the overall run trail loop in SNP from the park boundary -- that means we get to go up first and then down! The hike is 8.5 miles and we will plan for about five hours of actual hiking time (that doesn't include our ''fun'' time, which I'll elaborate on later).
The uphill climb is steep (and quite rocky), but we'll be rewarded with some fabulous views of the valley below and overall falls, which at 93 feet is the tallest in the park! We can sit and enjoy a small snack here, but you'll probably want to save lunch for the fun later in the afternoon. After taking in the sights and maybe some calories, we will slowly make our way back down the mountain along a dirt and grass trail through the forest and meadow. As an added bonus, there's some blueberry bushes that should still have some fruit. You can pick a few handfuls to have with your lunch, or even a bunch to take home! And bonus number two is we may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a bear because this trail has the highest concentration of black bears in the park!
Just 1.5 miles from our cars is the best part of this hike... the pools! There is a pool for sitting, a pool for sliding, and even one for diving and jumping! We can hang out here for as long as people wish. Now is when it will be nice to relax and enjoy lunch as well. We'll swim, slide, dive, eat, sunbathe, sleep, people-watch, and anything else you can come up with! After everyone has had enough of nature's water park, we'll stroll back to the parking lot and drive home.
OK, disclaimer time...As you know--we care about you! We don’t want you to get hurt or get yourself into any trouble, but it’s ultimately up to you to keep yourself safe up there. You can do this by knowing your limits, so make sure you are physically able to do this hike and bring enough water. If you have doubts about your physical ability, you might want to try one of our shorter and less strenuous walks/hikes.
Driving: We’ll meet up at 9:00am at the Vienna Metro Station-NORTH parking lot (turn right after entering the gates) for carpooling purposes. This is along the Orange Line and I-66. From here, we'll head west towards the mountains (65 miles, 90 minutes). If you're running late, please call me...we'll wait for you! No worries! We’ll be back sometime between 7:00 and 8:00pm (this will depend on how long we hang out at the pools).
What to bring: plenty of water (2-3 liters), a hearty lunch, a granola bar or two, a ziplock bag if you plan on taking home some blueberries, sunglasses and sunscreen, swimsuit and/or change of clothes, and of course your smile
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone! My number:[masked]