Our new home is a stone’s throw from the amazing Hatchers Pass, but we haven’t gone farther than this first riverside pull off since moving in. That gave me a great reason to plan a photo walk there with my photography Meetup group. I’d heard the historic Independence Mine at the top of the pass offered great panoramas and had interesting old buildings, so I was excited to see it for myself. I wasn’t disappointed.
Before entering the park around the mine there was this adorable lodge with cabins that can be rented. I’m thinking it might be the perfect spot for the hubs and I to have a little get away. (hint, hint!)
The mine itself was a mix of restored and deteriorating historic buildings. The amazing textures on the buildings and scenery literally beg or a rustic photo shoot.
I hiked a steep trail that took me up and around the entrance to the actual mine, providing a hillside view of the entire area.
Rusty pieces of mining equipment were scattered about wherever they were forgotten when the mine closed and several signs explained what each building was used for, along with some interesting historical tidbits.
I spotted several prairie dogs on the road and then got an up close view of a group of them along one of the trails I took. They were gnawing on the wood of a collapsed building, making a sound I first thought was the building sliding down the hillside! Once they spotted me they scurried around and took cover. Then this guy took up sentry duty barking at me in an apparent message to his cohorts that there was danger afoot.
We also made a quick drive over to nearby Summit Lake, which I’m told is only 20’ deep at the center. The water was very chilly, but super clear. I could just envision bringing the fur kids up here to play!
Late August into September is prime season for wild blue berries and there are plenty of patches in this area. I’m planning to make a trip back very soon to pick my own batch, which we’ll freeze and save for my hubby’s amazing lemon blueberry bread!