Hiking The Priest
The weather was calling for bright blue skies, sparse clouds and 50 degrees... sounds like the perfect temperature to go for a hike right? Well it was one of those 50 degree days that got colder and colder the higher up the mountain we went. For most of the hike I was comfortable in my long sleeve but the second I stopped moving I would get a chill and have to throw my old pullover back on. Luckily we had enough layers so when the temperature dropped to 34 degrees (with a whipping wind) at the top of the mountain we were warm enough to not immediately run back down. Also I brought along two neck warmers and I swear those things have changed the game when it comes to cold weather hikes because they really keep the heat in around your head. After spending some time at the top of the mountain chatting with two older hikers and enjoying the view, we began to make our way back down. The hike has a great gradual incline that will get your heart pumping but won't leave you feeling like you're dying. The way down is really enjoyable because you're not constantly feeling like you're catching yourself from falling or straining your legs in any way. This hike is definitely on my list of favorites now because we encountered very few people and the views were amazing at the top. There are also a few good sized boulders to hop around on and take pictures from at the outlook. Overall this hike was so much fun and can also be combined with the Crabtree Falls Hike and even Spy Rock to make for a longer hike. For more information on the hike go here.
Also make sure you drive a FOUR WHEEL SUV VEHICLE. You literally have to off-road to get to the trail head. We drove through two streams (one was basically a flat section of a waterfall), rock climbed, avoided insanely scary pot holes and drove on precarious mountain cliffs. Seriously- don't attempt to drive the road there if you don't have four wheel drive and/or have a low clearance. However if you have a Wrangler I can assure you you will loveeeee this little stretch of road :)