The only thing rarer than meeting other hikers in this area of St. Croix is getting rain on a hike. This rugged area is generally avoided by most visitors and locals except for a quick ride up the hill to the Millennium Monument which has no real Cultural or Historical significance to locals. For the slightly more adventuresome, there is a parking area just to the west of the monument which is adjacent to the start of a well marked trail that leads to Issac’s Bay Beach. This is a pristine beach, remarkable for it’s clear water, sandy bottom and snorkeling and well worth the trip, still very few walk to that beach.
I doubt that one in 100 locals has ever done the complete walk from the Deep Space Radio Telescope up to the top of Sugarloaf Hill, back down to the Goat Hills Saddle, then down the hill to explore Jack’s Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Issac’s Bay, across East Bay, and uphill to the monument before strolling down the paved road to the starting point. This area has some of the most pristine beauty of any Island in the Caribbean and you don’t have to take my word for it you can visit my Facebook album with pictures of the beauty.
This part of the island can even be explored when the island is overcast and rain is threatening elsewhere. The standard weather forecast for St. Croix is 30% chance of rain almost everyday. Now to the unknowing, that sounds like a grim forecast so I had to find out from a retired US Weatherman what that exactly means. His answer was that there will be a roughly one in three chance that somewhere near the weather station, there will be a hundredth of an inch of rain in the next 24 hours.
For those that don’t know one hundredth of an inch of rain is not enough to soak your t-shirt beyond normal sweat which occurs when walking. It is more like a refreshing gentle mist. Since the East End of St. Croix is the desert end of the island, the chances of getting rain at that level is much lower. On only one occasion in the past two years of walking in this area did I actually get wet and it came at the end of the hike near Point Udall and was actually quite refreshing.
Because of the beauty, peace, tranquility and lack or others walking and littering in this area, this is one of my favorite places to walk. Unfortunately, I don’t do it often enough. In order to help encourage visitors to take this tour, I am taking it off my schedule for 2013 and immediately making this an on demand hike which means that I will take you and your family any day of the week that you would like including Sunday because it is a in my mind a very spiritual area.
The first part of the walk is along an abandoned road so it can even be [carefully] walked in time to catch the sunrise. Starting early is far preferable to starting late. The whole 6 mile hike takes four to five hours which means if you start at 10 am, you will not finish until after 2 pm. For those who may struggle but still want tho take the hike, it is possible to shorten it to four miles and cut the walking time to 3 to 4 hours. Of course stopping for a swim along the way will add to the time.For those who don’t know, St. Croix has no dangerous wild animals or poisonous snakes of any kind. We have insects but there are fewer in the desert area then there are in the wetter areas of the island. The cost for the hike is $50.00 and there is a preferred two people minimum. However, if you are traveling alone or with a non-athletic spouse, give a call. I may be able to add you to another group or if I haven’t walked in the area in the past month, I just might want to go anyway.
You can find more information about the east end of St. Croix Here