Snowshoe Hike up Timberhill

Six of us drove up the Copper Mountain Road and parked by the Allenby Turnoff. Cossing the road we donned our snowshoes and set off for Timberhill. We stood on the snowy road edge and didn’t sink in and thought this would be easy to snowshoe. Ten feet away from the road we sank in about six inches! We followed some vehicle tracks up the dirt road until the driver had given up and turned around. We heard a small flocks of birds high in the trees and recognized Siskins and Goldfinches. Crossing under the power line we stopped at the first clearing to take in the expansive valley view over the grasslands. Higher up the trail we saw a female Red Crossbill in the tree top. We zig zagged up onto the open ridge with its spectacular views over the valley. The sky was blue, no wind, and it was really warming up when we stopped for lunch. We sat on pine needles where the snow had melted, and sunbathed! Suddenly, we heard a repeated low whistle, and we asked “what was that”? After some exploration, looking up at the treetops, Jason spotted a Northern Pygmy-Owl. It sat at the top of a pine tree calling out and being answered by another down in the valley. We all got a really good look at it.

Photo by John Henry

According to the Lahaies the following birds were heard or seen on this outing, a total of 16 species.

  • Clark’s Nutcracker
  • Northern Pygmy-Owl
  • Pine Siskin
  • American Goldfinch
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Red Crossbill
  • Brown Creeper
  • Mountain Chickadee
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Canada Jay
  • Northern Flicker
  • Cassin’s Finch
  • Common Raven
  • Stellers’ Jay

It is always so nice to have knowledgeable people on hike with you.

On the way down we stopped and looked at old snag which was twisted all the way up. We were mystified by its appearance? What could have possibly cause this freak of nature? Back home going online I discovered the reason. Apparently, trees that twist are much stronger in windy exposed places. Also in water restricted areas they can better supply all the tree with water rather than just one side. A more detailed explanation will be given in the next newsletter.

It was a beautiful snowshoe hike on an absolutely perfect Spring day!

Submitted by: John Henry