Heading down the trail toward Laurel Falls, we passed 68 Boy Scouts and 6 locals hiking out. We'd passed a total of 10 other people at various points on the trail, all heading out, so that explained the massive amounts of cars at the trailhead! I know Virgin Falls is a life list trail, but I had trouble imagining 40 different households all waking up Saturday morning with the hiking bug and making the drive as we had. Those Boy Scouts...*sigh*. One night out and they had HUGE backpacks stuffed to the gills with things strapped all over the place. One troop leader had a huge pack and was carrying a metal grill, several had cots strapped to the outside of their packs, too. They had gallon packs of water strapped to their packs (why not buy a filter and just use the water along the trail!?) and they did have multiple bags of trash lashed to their packs, that was good to see. When I was in scouts, we burned everything in the fire and pulled out the metal can remnants the next morning and crushed them and put them in a little bag. We burned all of the plastic wrapping and Styrofoam plates, even toilet tissue was burned. Eep!
Here is the first pic I took of these falls with an 8 year old Jake and Leighton.
Laurel Falls flow over a cave opening and then the creek doubles back on itself and follows the inside of the cave, disappearing into a hole which probably goes right out to the river somewhere.
The campsite just beyond that downed log is where I always envisioned hiking back to camp at, but now I know that I'd rather stay at the 2-mile point just across the creek where the cable line is. I don't think I could get a backpack back up that climb out.
Isn't that lovely?
On to Virgin Falls!