An easy snowshoe where you can pick your own turnaround point. While you can go as far as the avalanche slopes beyond Dipper Canyon, most snowshoers stop like we did at the bike racks at the 4.6 km mark and sit on a spindly log to nibble goodies. The good trail usually stops here.
In the first stretch from Ribbon Creek parking lot the trail was beaten down real good as was a ski trail along the creek bed. As Jeff E surmised, the spring between the first and second bridges is becoming problematical, most snowshoers avoiding the ever ballooning bulge of green ice by detouring into the creek. A little farther along, the steps of the third bridge were plenty wide enough to take snowshoes — good thinking by trail builders! The most boring stretch was the 1 km plod shared with the ski trail. Of the two picnic tables en route, only one has been cleared off. At Kovach junction at 2.5 km you have to descend the hill to Ribbon Creek bridge to find somewhere to sit.
Carrying on up Ribbon Creek valley, we straightaway passed the Lorax stump (named after a Dr. Seuss character who speaks for the trees), then climbed the hill into a most enjoyable section of trail that meanders along the bank top past two benches. Possibly you’ll be caught unawares, as I was when walking the trail by myself last winter and again this last time, by a short stretch of noisy forest after the first bridge. The wind doesn’t have to be very strong, but by some quirk of the geography, it beats against this one bit of hillside in intermittent gusts. One minute you’re enjoying the usual silence of the forest, the next listening to a cacophony of creaks, squeaks, groans, voices, roars and loud bangs that make you jump. What, you wonder, is coming at you through the trees? The answer is always nothing.
Flagging marks the north fork trail junction at 3.6 km. When the north fork trail ahead is well broken, as it was when we went past, it’s important to turn left here, otherwise you’ll end up in the wrong valley. After more bank top wandering we crossed the bridge over the north fork to the valley bottom. The last flat straight to the bike racks — only the top bar was visible — brought into view the cliffy west side of Mount Kidd emerging from the clouds. The weather was improving and as we turned for home after nibbles, the warm March sun, which had so far eluded us, shone into the valley. Instantly the trees were dripping and releasing snow bombs, so it was a hoods up trip all the way back to the parking lot.