On our first full day at Hidden Valley, we decided to check out some mountain bikes from the inn and go exploring. The Hidden Valley Inn property is 7200 acres, and there are extensive hiking and mountain biking trails.
The mountain bikes were very old school, and a few minutes into the ride both Steve and I were missing the comfy rock shox on our Gary Fischers. Unfortunately, the biking turned out to be almost a total bust. Steve’s bike wouldn’t shift into any of the low gears, so every time we hit a big hill, we had to walk. We finally made it to the hiking trail and left the bikes at the trail head. (The other nice thing about Hidden Valley is that they equip you with two-way radios in case you need anything while you are out on the property. So they will pick you up, pick your bikes up, whatever you need). Here I am at the trail head to Butterfly Falls, armed and ready with my hiking stick.
A guy named Peter does an amazing job at maintaining all of the trails year-round. There were tons of bridges and ladders all over the place, making for a fun hike.
In talking to Peter, we learned that the wood they use to make all of these bridges, ladders, and steps only lasts a year to a year and a half before it starts to rot and needs to be replaced. I can’t believe his crew is able to keep up with all of the maintenance, but somehow they do it. After about 45 minutes, we came to Butterfly Falls.
It was really beautiful. This was one of the taller water falls that you could hike to.
After admiring the falls, we pressed on and did some more hiking. I couldn’t get over how awesome and fun the trails were.
The bottom of this ladder ended up right in one of the waterfall pools. The pictures we got with the disposable camera are really sucky, but this is to prove that I did actually get in the water. And it was so cold.
After our little swim, we decided to stop for lunch on one of the trails. They had packed us bag lunches before we left so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting back. While we were eating, we ran into Peter the grounds keeper, and he offered to give us a ride in his truck over to another trail so we wouldn’t have to deal with the bikes. In talking to him, we found out that a few weeks before we were there, Bear Grylls was there filming an episode of Man vs. Wild for the Discovery channel. Pretty cool! We stopped at a lookout point for some awesome views.
After that stop, Peter dropped us off at the lookout point for King Vulture Falls. This waterfall was huge, but it was hard to get a good picture because it was so far away.
Apparently Bear Grylls was dropped by helicopter at the top of this waterfall, and he somehow climbed down and into the jungle. I will definitely be watching for that episode to air on the Discovery Channel.
After looking at the falls for a while, we hiked back to the inn and hit the outdoor hot tub (as we did every night we were there). Then it was time for dinner, and of course after that we had a fire back in our room.
Such a nice relaxing end to the day.