Skagway is a small, touristy town in southeastern Alaska. It is a popular port for cruises to Alaska and can get a little overrun with tourists during the summer. While the most popular excursion visitors to Skagway take is a trip on the White Pass Scenic Railway, Skagway is also home to Klondike Gold Rush National Park and has hiking trails that start from the edge of town. One of those hikes is up to Devil’s Punchbowl, an 8.5 mile hike that involves an elevation gain of 3,700 feet. The middle third of the hike in particular is incredibly steep, perhaps the steepest extended stretch of trail I have hiked on. But the view from the top is well worth the effort. The trail follows a creek during the steep portion of the hike and the terrain is so steep that the creek is essentially one waterfall after another. This photo is of one of those waterfalls.
Alluvial Fan, in Rocky Mountain National Park, was created in 1982 when the water of Lawn Lake burst through the earthen Lawn Lake Dam. Millions upon millions of gallons of water rushed down towards the valley below, bringing trees and large boulders along for the ride. The large boulders within this waterfall are just a small sampling of the massive amount of boulders strewn about Alluvial Fan. The water which brought these boulders here on that July day in 1982 was so massive in volume and fast flowing that it left the nearby town of Estes Park flooded under six feet of water. Today the site is a popular attraction for visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park, easily accessible and a reminder of the powerful capabilities of nature.
This day was one of the relatively few days that the weather failed us while traveling. We had awoken early in the morning and taken the funicular from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp, then hiked to Mürren, with plans of taking the cable car up to Schilthorn. Unfortunately, Schilthorn was hidden behind the clouds with the exception of a very brief time when the sun came out, just enough to get our hopes up before the clouds rolled back in. Instead, we continued our hike to Gimmelwald, then down to Stechelberg, a beautiful hike through the Swiss countryside that was for the most part pleasant but at times dampened by the intermittent rain. We arrived in Stechelberg and found the bus stop to take the bus through the valley back to Lauterbrunnen, then made the not so wise decision to walk through the valley, as it did look quite nice and it seemed as though the rain had stopped. Wrong. Fifteen minutes or so later the skies opened up and we were caught in a torrential downpour with no place to take shelter and no choice to continue our walk to Lauterbrunnen soaking wet. The one positive was that the heavy rain caused tons of waterfalls to instantaneously appear on the cliffs on either side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. I managed to quickly snap this photo of this waterfall without getting my camera too wet.