Sep 2, 2011 9:10 AM
MADERA CANYON - On the surface, a 1.3 mile hike at a 5,000 foot elevation sounds like a walk in the park.
But you'd be underestimating the power that is the Dutch John Spring Trail.
Hiker Laurens Halsey said, "It's probably rated as a moderate trail, but most of the trails here I think are underrated and a little more severe because of the loose rocks and dry soils".
Whether the trail is narrow or wide, it's a steady climb up. Over the 1.3 mile segment, you end up gaining 1,000 feet in elevation. 30-45 minutes into the hike, you'll reach one of the two springs.
Despite the sign, the actual Dutch John Spring is located further up the drainage. I went searching for it, and much like the drainage I was wandering, my efforts came up empty.
"It's one of the drier trails in the canyon. The stream bed doesn't flow unless after a rainstorm", said Halsey.
Springs aside, this hike has more to offer. Lots of wildflowers flank the trail, butterflies are out in full force & of course, the Madera Canyon birds are there.
"There will be some flycatchers and some warblers, occasionally the elegant trogon does show up in the sycamores", said Halsey.
If you plan on hiking the Dutch John Spring Trail over the weekend, my best advice for you: bring bug spray. Trust me, you'll need it.
To see the Dutch John Spring Trail map, click here.