Saturday, April 1, 2017
Hike: Reimer’s Ranch – Canyon Trail
Weather: windy, cloudy, cool, mid 60s
Hikers: Ian, Court, Biff
Length: 1.4 miles
Milton Reimer’s Ranch is a park that is about 1 mile from Hamilton Pool and we had never hiked it. This was a pretty short (but hard) hike and we have plenty of trails left to explore out there, with over 2400 acres in the park.
From the Travis County Parks website:
This pristine parkland, open space and reserve land in western Travis County with almost 3 miles of continuous frontage along the Pedernales River is the largest parkland acquisition in the history of Travis County.
The rain was supposed to start up in the afternoon so we woke up relatively early and made the 45 minute drive to the park, hitting the trail by about 9:30am. I also used this hike to test out my new day pack that I bought for use this summer in Colorado and Canada, the Osprey Stratos 24. I could have saved a pound of weight going with the Talon 22, but the sturdier frame of the Stratos ultimately sold me. It will take a couple of hikes to dial it in, but I was happy with the fit and feel of it on today’s hike. However, the hole in the pack for the water bladder hose was engineered poorly, being very difficult to thread the hose through and I can see that getting old. I may have to cut part of it to make it not as maddening.
The ranch is apparently a rock climbers heaven and there were plenty of climbers down in the canyon. The trail was not well marked and we had to feel our way and do a bit of scrambling and bushwhacking, carrying Biff quite a bit.
We trekked down into the canyon and there were several people doing a photo shoot under one of the big rock overhangs with a tent set up and various gear combinations. We continued down into the canyon, following the small stream that was cut into the rock. It soon became several beautiful waterfalls surrounded by ferns and tall trees.
From here the trail became much more difficult to ascertain and was pretty overgrown. We came across several different rock climbing groups and stopped briefly to watch them. We struggled on through the trail for a bit, bushwhacking and climbing up and over huge boulders, but ultimately decided it was time to head back in the other direction where there seemed to be slightly clearer trails. The day was very muggy and carrying Biff along with a full pack takes its toll.
We came back to the waterfall from earlier and Court ate the rest of her breakfast next to it. We then followed the trail to a river overlook and saw where the stream emptied into the Pedernales River, again with several beautiful waterfalls.
We could hear more and more people entering the canyon and decided to head back. There were lots of kids and they did not seem to care about enjoying the sounds of nature as much as the sounds of their own voices. Get off my lawn.
We climbed out of the canyon, past a field of wildflowers, and back to the car. This hike was really short in distance, but big on nature. We’ll be back.