Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dedication Point, Swan Falls Dam, and the Snake River Canyon

Even with a few hiccups, today was very fun. I probably had the most fun on this trip. We journeyed to the Snake River Canyon and Swan Falls Dam. I hadn't been there since I was a junior in high school. I can still remember the night my friends and I tried to find the Kuna Caves and ended up at the Swan Falls Dam. What an adventure that was!

We started by driving to Dedication Point which overlooks the Snake River. It's a short walk to the overlook. The view is breathtaking. It kind of sneaks up on you. One minute you're in the middle of the desert, the next you're looking at a gigantic display of volcanic rock juxtaposing a green, winding river.

We saw hiking trails that led to the bottom of the canyon as well as trails next to the river. We also saw a vehicle on a dirt road at the bottom. Humm. I wonder how to get down there? That would be a fun drive.

As much as I enjoyed the view, had I been there without my children, I would have liked it a lot more. The steep canyon wall made me so nervous. I don't know about you, but I get very nervous when my kids try to lean over something that could lead to their death. Ok kids, time to go.

We drove along Swan Falls Rd and stopped at another overlook that had a map. I was excited to see on the map that the dirt road at the bottom of the canyon actually led to Celebration Park. Oh cool. Let's take that road to Celebration Park. I had planned that for a different day, but what the heck, we were this close and it would be a very scenic drive. Or so I thought.
We checked out Swan Falls Dam, very cool, and then got on the dirt road. I was loving it. I had two kids asleep at this point, and my oldest was being quiet--content that we were headed to a park. The drive was beautiful with two steep cliffs on either side of us, wildlife all around, and a lovely river rolling along with us. I drove at about 5 mph just to soak it all in. It was better than hiking it because I could enjoy it sitting down with the air conditioning blowing in my face.

After 4 miles on this wonderful dirt road, it suddenly changed from a "motorized vehicles okay" road to a "no motorized vehicles allowed" narrow hiking trail. It would have been nice to know this ahead of time. I guess I misinterpreted what I saw on the map. I had to look at it again to see what I did. Yep, that red line does not mean road, it just means trail. My bad.

Are you learning by now that life isn't easy for me? (Or maybe I'm just an idiot.) I'm hoping your life isn't easy for you either and maybe you can relate to my blog a little bit. If you can't, I don't want to hear about it.

We turn around and go home--this time faster than 5 mph--but we've still had an amazing journey. It takes us 35 minutes to get from Swan Falls Dam to the Meridian and Overland intersection. That's how close this magnificent Snake River Canyon is to us. We will definitely be back.

Advice--make sure you have a full tank of gas. Go in the morning when it's cool. And more of the same old stuff. Shoes and socks, sunscreen, hats, plenty of water, camera, maybe binoculars if you're into bird watching. (We're not. I don't like to answer the question, "Mom, what's that?" I don't know. Ask your dad.

****Four out of four stars.

1 comment:

Christina C said...

We went for the first time yesterday (10-10-12) and had a very similar experience. 3 generations, my mother and her boyfriend, my boyfriend and myself and my toddler. The stroller limited us on the trails we could go on. We started at dedication point and saw the road below, looked at the map and then drove to the dam to see if we could access the road we saw below. We, like you also planned on driving through to celebration point but once we saw the "road ends 2 1/2 miles" we were disapointed. Our next trip is to start at celebration point and hike at least some of the trail from the other side.