6 November 2015
Green River at Flaming Geyser State Park
3 miles, 500 ft. climb to 500 ft. max. elevation
Continuing with our recent exploration of rivers, Little Hiking Buddy and I decided to visit Flaming Geyser State Park in Black Diamond, WA for a muddy trek along the mighty Green River. After what seemed like endless rain for the past week, we lucked out with dry, overcast weather for our adventure. This park is known for the small geysers fueled by methane gas discovered by miners over a century ago; however, we completely overlooked the two main geysers on our exploration today.
We started our hike in the middle of the Perimeter Loop Trail, which Google Maps indicated as our final destination. This part of the trail began with a rather steep ascent into the forest, where the rocky and muddy slope was completely covered with fallen leaves from the recent downpour. However, the path quickly leveled off, allowing LHB and I ample opportunity to discover bugs, moss and other fascinating forest finds.
In just less than one mile, we ventured from the trees out into an open field located just at the park entrance. Although we were among the lonely few at the park, the landscape seemed alive with the colorfully changing foliage contrasted against the stark green conifers. We crossed the road and picked up the trail on the other side of the field, which led us along Green River itself. This section of Green River within the park boundary was truly a spectacle to behold, with its moss-hued water transforming into sprays of white rapidly rushing over the changing rock bed. We even happened upon a little waterfall that was strong in its flow from the recent storms.
As we made our way upstream on the River Trail, we were fortunate to witness regional water rescue teams from multiple cities perform tactical exercises in preparation for the upcoming flood season. We are so thankful for these men who have chosen to dedicate their lives to the safety of residents, neighbors, visitors and mere strangers. LHB waived hello to each and every one of these courageous heroes.
After a few miles of meandering upstream and past our starting point, we found the “entrance” to the Perimeter Loop, which hosted the main trails to the Flaming and Bubbling Geysers. However, we decided to save our search for these spouts to another time and opted instead to enjoy our yummy lunches next to the rushing river with hopes of seeing the Coho salmon run upstream. Alas, we didn’t see any fish, but really loved our strawberry Nutella sandwiches.