|Family in front of trail leading to el Yelmo|
|Mountain Goats - a big male|
|View from Elefantito, Madrid skyscrapers 40K away in the background|
From Elefantito, we'd planned to walk up to a pass and then back down to our car on a well-traveled forest road called the Autopista (highway) because it's very accessible. But it was getting late, and that loop was long, so we decided to take another hiker's advice and cut through a meadow at the base of El Yelmo, the central peak in this part of the park, to make a shorter loop back to the parking lot. We did that, and then could find nothing, no cairn, no obvious water-logged trail, nothing, to mark the trail down. Frustrating! So we backtracked and asked another group of hikers. They were incredibly nice and knowledgeable, and showed us the trail to the upper part of the meadow and where the downward trail started. That trail had many people on it, and went by the face of el Yelmo with many rock climbers. On the way down, we went through another mountain meadow that they've used to shoot western movies, and then by another rock face we'd seen over 50 climbers on in the morning.
A full day hike with tons to see, a little bit of getting lost, plenty of scrambling, and great views. It's amazing to be able to take the kids on all-day hikes now. Silas was quite tired in the first hour, that had about 400M elevation gain through creek-covered trails, hard going, but once we got into the day, the kids had energy and we had a good time.