I had thought that perhaps when we left the main area of the park and embarked on the West Trail that we would leave the crowds behind. There was a slight incline as we hiked up the trail which I thought might deter folks, and for awhile we didn’t see anyone. Then we saw one family, then another, and another until we knew this was not going to be our time for peace. Perhaps we’ve been spoiled by going to so many natural areas and not seeing a soul, or very few at least.
We stopped maybe a quarter of the way down the creek for a lunch break, finding a slab of limestone out of the way of the main hiking traffic to start our stove up and make burritos for lunch. A nap was had in the dappled sunshine afterwards.
The trail leaves the creek and climbs upward to the bluffs where another panoramic view awaits. Up top there is a privy and campsites E & F. Several groups of hikers were on the bluffs taking in the view, while we didn’t stop and continued along the way back downhill again towards Mystic Canyon.