Come to the Dark Side.

This short but challenging hike will deliver excitement on all levels. Starting out as a forested trail, the trees quickly turn into lush bushes which are full of berries in the months of June and July. As the trail descends toward the canyon, you are met by many fissures in the rocks and sneak peaks of the river far below.

The hiking trail enters into the Dark Side canyon and the adventure turns into small climbs, and descents. It’s like entering a lost world with trees growing up and out of the rock cliffs. There are no longer any mechanical aids over the rocks as seen in the many pictures on the internet. This hike begs to be done with a slow precision to take in the amazing scenery. A short climb up out of the canyon brings spectacular sandstone cliffs and river views. The trail continues along the edge of the cliff. It travels over boulders and gaps, then ascends towards the top of the cliff.

Walking along the top of the cliff, there are many stunning views of the trail below. A small detour, out onto an island in the sky, brings a whole new perspective to the hike, the trail below and the river. This part of the hike is not for the faint of heart and is entirely optional.

Views of the sunny side, the opposite side of the river because it gets the sun and the dark side doesn’t, are seen from this vantage point. The Sunny side cliffs rise almost straight out of the river. There is thick undergrowth among the trees of the forest at this part of the hike. As we hike along the canyon edge we can see the moss covered tops of the far sandstone wall dotted with trees. Then the trail descends to meet the canyon trail. The walk to the parking area is rocky but familiar as it follows the same path as the trail in.

This is not only a hike but a full body workout. Nearby is the Country Kitchen restaurant the perfect finale to a wonderful hike!


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