You know you’ve found something amazing when nobody you know has ever heard of the place. This is one of the many reasons I love Pinterest! You can find some pretty amazing, but not-so-well-known places. This was one of those random gems I came across while looking for new travel destinations (see all my Pinterest boards here).
While my husband and I were doing some recon for this spur-of-the-moment day trip, we came across a few different blogs/reviews regarding directions and details about the hike. They all had different hiking distances, the shortest being 6 miles roundtrip and described as “gently sloped”. 6 miles is a long hike for occasional, casual hikers like us. At least it didn’t sound like a rough hike, just a tad lengthy. We can do this. I studied the trail map and pinpointed the closest parking area to the Channels so we could take the shorter hike.
6 miles? Yeah, I’d say it was more like 7 or 8 miles. And we obviously have differing ideas of what “gently sloped” means. The first half straight uphill, then the second half straight downhill going back. No rugged terrain necessarily, just really steep. My legs were the equivalent of over-cooked spaghetti by the end of it. But oh man, it was worth it!
After some extensive exploring through the Channels, we headed back down the trail toward the car. We didn’t get too far before we ran into some company. This young buck decided he was going to walk the trail with us for awhile! We followed him for about 10 minutes before he finally detoured off the trail and disappeared into the forest.
Well, that was cool! We were both going on about the deer and almost didn’t notice the black flash running down the trail in front of us.
Holy crap… that was a bear. And a cub, no less. We immediately start scanning the surrounding area for mama bear (because you KNOW she’s nearby). Everything I ever heard, read, or knew about bear safety went straight out of my head. And every horror story came rushing in.
What do we do? Keep going? Turn back and wait for more people to walk with?
Get a grip. Don’t panic.
Noise. Make lots of noise.
“We see you, bear!”
“Hey, bear! Get on out of here, bear!”
We proceeded to walk very cautiously down the trail, all the while talking as loudly as possible without outright screaming. Below are some tips on what to do (and not do) if you encounter, or get charged by, a black bear.
Check out the video of this trip below!
Or you can check it out on my YouTube channel (along with a bunch of other awesome adventures)!