Wow!  In May we wondered if we would ever be able to hike the trails around here!  In June a friend of mine went snowshoeing up the Portage Pass trail and she and I encountered snow on Horsetail Falls as well.  At the end of July though, *most* of the snow is gone!  The girls and I headed up Horsetail Falls on Friday and only found the trail blocked in one spot by snow.

The Horsetail Falls trail is one of my favorite places in Whittier.  The trail through the woods is so beautiful!  I take pictures of it every time...I just can't help myself!

I have been all the way to the top only once, during our first winter.  We went snowshoeing to the top.  Since then I've spent most of my time on the lower portion.  The girls have only had so much stamina and we've always turned around when the trail breaks out of the trees into the open and more brushy section. For some reason on Friday however, the stars aligned and they decided to go farther.  So we went.  And we kept right on going!

Much of the time the brush was as tall as they are, but this time it didn't seem to bother them.  Closer to the top the brush thins out and the landscape is more meadow-like.

And then (just over the next ridge) you're at the top!

There were little pockets of snow along the way...

...and then at the top there was this little snowfield.  The girls made snowballs.  In July.  I let them throw them at me because it was July...snowballs are somehow funnier on a sunny day in July!

We stopped a lot, drank lots of water, and tripped a lot.  The going downhill was trickier...all of those steps down and so much to look at all around you.  Although the trail is called 'Horsetail Falls' it doesn't take you directly to the falls.  You certainly get some breathtaking views of it, though!

And 4 other falls as well!  Horsetail is the second one from the right...I don't know the names of the others.  It was a great afternoon...an escape from the wind that was howling down in town.  The whole walk took us about two hours.  Lots of walking for little girls!  They were tired when we got down...tired enough to sit down and watch an entire movie at a friend's house where we went for Friday night pizza and a movie!

I'll leave you with two more pictures of my little hikers...because they're too cute not to include!