SandStone Peak🚶🏾♀️Inspiration Point🚶🏾♀️Split Rock.
A true escape from reality.
When I decided to embark on this journey, I knew three things for certain, it was over 3,000 feet, it had a view, and there were two ways to get to the peak; Sandstone trail or Misha Mowka which was a longer route. What I didn’t expect was a true wonderland of perfection. Does that make sense? I don’t know but it does in my heart and did in my head, so I am sticking with it.
Sandstone wasn’t made of sand per se, It was made on a perfect day when nature and everyone involved in the formation decided it was time to literally create, design, and reform, a part of nature and natural habitats of some sort, to match the true meaning of escape from reality. There are just not enough words or visuals to show the true beauty of Sandstone, none. It takes seeing it in person with the naked eyes, to really, truly, love and appreciate the beauty before you. The silence, the echoes, the perfect formation of rocks, layers, trees, colors, birds, clouds, oh my goodness, NO WORDS!
Anyway, let’s talk briefly about the hike.
I left home at the perfect time to beat the non-existent traffic. Driving through was a scenic experience in itself, it would have been mental to not capture a bit of it. Luckily, my camera was on par, and together, we captured and experienced the beauty.
Want to jump right to the video? 👉🏾 here
Unfortunately, I drove past the trailhead, straight to Circle X Ranch. A jeep pulled up next to me with a man inside, looking just as confused as I was but slightly nauseous. “Are you okay?” I asked as I worried about him throwing up. I made a mental note to refill my tissue storage in the car for next time. “The drive down here made me nauseous… I may need to lay down a bit.” He said as he opened his car door, sitting down. I offered some ginger chews but he refused as he wasn’t certain if they were kosher and neither was I. He informed me he only eats kosher, I apologized for the error, second nature. He was looking for Grotto trail, I was looking for Sandstone trail, we both had no service and were alone. My panic instinct kicked in, he asked if I had any service, I said emergency service. He turned pale but seemed determined to find the entrance. Eventually, we figured it out, waved goodbyes, and I went on my merry way back to the initial trailhead. It was Sandstone trailhead.
It was a nice relief to see other vehicles. It was also generous to have a toilet right at the entrance in case of any last-minute droplet. I had my last pee drops and headed off for my exciting hike.
First off, holy shit! The pictures found on hikespeak didn’t do enough justice to this paradise or perhaps, it was the timing but WOW! Just the parking alone presents a breathtaking view, everywhere presents a view. “What in the hidden paradise is going on here!” I said nonstop to myself as I started. This is blossom madness! Is that even a thing?! Who cares, it is now!
When I started, I made sure to be careful hiking through loose rocks and gravels, my wobbly ankles sometimes went haywire on me. I spoke all so gently to my Saucony Excursion sneakers to be a little more protective this time, I needed to see this through and had six hours only. That’s how much I hoped to bear not taking a leak and not eating a real meal.
Most reviews pointed out starting from Misha Mokwa to Sandstone and some did the alternate route. I chose to bag in Sandstone Peak first, and then endure the distance on my way back. This way, I have enough adrenaline and endurance to crawl up to the summit, get pumped, eat at the top, and roll down to start my never-ending trek.
I am glad I did just that. The experience was magical, I can’t even make up words to describe it… If I was to attempt with words, I would say it was the experience of starting a 100-meter race, feeling your heart explode through your chest, almost reaching the finish line, and the maze runner goes inception mode on you to an escape through the cocoon’s nest and finally, breaking free to the call of the mountains and the inhale of absolute clean air. As you walk out of the nest, you embrace the foggy blue skies, mountain top, and birds chirping away, as they serenade your ears with the joy of freedom.
Yes, and even that still doesn’t hold up to the inexplicable feeling that engulfs you, the moment you reach the summit. I stood there, balanced within rocks as I took it all in. I felt selfish and wished for a way to bag a little bit of this bliss, to take home with me. I remembered the registry and walked towards it, adding my words of wisdom to the book of legends. I carried on with my exploration and fulfilled the promise I made to myself; eat a Jimmy Bar at the summit. It was a wonderful experience, one to never be forgotten.
On my way down, a lady was not so lucky and sprained her ankle. It was pretty bad, she couldn’t walk and a helicopter finally made it in time for a rescue. I thanked my Saucony once again and made a stern warning to my ankles, we are seeing this journey through, no exceptions!
I eventually made my way to Inspiration Point and it was just as magical as Sandstone Summit.
Eventually, I made it to Split Rock and boi was that fun! I took one look at the rocks and decided I was walking through it cos why not! The reviews online didn’t speak much about walking through it, seeing it in person, there was just no justifiable reason not to so I did! With just the right amount of smirk and giggles.
With my trek almost complete, I carried on but didn’t make the Balance Rock trail. I panicked a tad bit about the unmaintained sign and also, my feet were starting to ache. The view was incredible and balance rock looked a little smaller than expected from across… This was definitely a case of perspective as I have seen photos online and it is HUGE.
Luckily, the overall hike was about four hours and although I had planned for six hours total, by the time I got home, it was well over said six hours. In fact, the pain and gain were so mixed in the point of climax that I felt nothing more than absolute ecstasy! Hunger and exhaustion had no place in my heart, none.