I plan on doing a lot of hiking down into the gorge, and I've picked out one summit that I want to try to at least see, if not actually climb. This kind of terrain is not truly mountainous in the classic sense of the term. Instead, it's composed of a plateau that is deeply cut by numbers of rivers and streams. There's still a lot of vertical to be seen and conquered, but it's not actually mountains.
We're not sure if we'll see a lot of wildlife. The Forest Service did reintroduce black bears into the area some time back and there's supposed to be an expanding population of them now. But beyond that I haven't read much about the animals who inhabit that area.
Since we're going in cooler weather we're not taking our kayaks and from what I understand there's not a big demand this time of year for rafting trips down the main river through the Recreation Area. I am hoping that there will still be some Fall color to see and photograph.
We've also booked a night at the Charit Creek Lodge. It's one of the lodges that one must reach on foot or horseback. We've stayed at a couple of such lodges and always enjoy the experience.
Also, one of the attractions of the area are the natural arches that have formed. Here in the east coast you don't find a lot of arches (as you do in many western states), so I'll be picking out some of those to visit. And the countdown has begun. One week to go.
|Down on the river in the gorge. (National Park photograph.)|
|We'll see this arch on the way to the Charit Creek Lodge. You have to pass by it along the trail. (Internet photo--not mine.)|