The Sandy Flats Trail is officially closed now. Last year some guy hiked it down and severely broke his leg. Fortunately, some hikers found him in time to save his leg.
Not surprised. It was all but closed when I hiked it in this pic...in fact a park ranger later told me I could have been fined for using it! Ahh well, plenty of other trails in the gorge!
Yeah. I forgot to reread your post. I saw that after I posted. It's listed as "closed" on all of the maps, now. Have you ever hiked the Pinch In Trail? If Sandy Flats was steeper, I'm glad I never hiked it.
No, never got around to the Pinch-In...on this particular trip I specifically remember looking for THE steepest trail in the gorge, just to say I did it. Sandy Flats (a misnomer if ever there was one) was listed in my guide as the most difficult but I seem to remember Pinch-In being a close second. As hard as it was to climb it would have been downright suicidal to descend!
That must be what happened to the guy who shattered his leg on that trail last year. Really nasty compound fracture. They say he was lucky that he was able to drag himself to a point where some passing hikers found him. According to an article I read, if even a few more hours had passed, he'd have lost his leg (supposing anyone found him).
I took an overnight backpack into the gorge last year and never saw another person the entire two days. Sometimes there's no one else down there.