This hike attracted 20 hikers, enough to fill 2 song taos for the ride up to Doi Suthep Park Headquarters where the hike began. We kept up quite a good pace and reached the 5-way junction in about 1 ½ hours, but were missing 3 hikers when we arrived. After waiting for some time, a search party went back and found one exhausted hiker. Two others offered to return with her, so our count was down to 17. We then continued on down to the lychee orchard. When we reached the turn off for the waterfall it looked like all the hikers were there, so without counting heads we continued on to the waterfall. It seemed that the area of the falls was a bit clearer than previously and we spent a longer time there than anticipated, with some of the more agile and adventuresome hikers climbing up to a higher level. After we returned to the orchard we looked for a shady spot to eat our lunch, and it was then we counted heads and realized we were missing 3 more hikers. With no satellite coverage we couldn’t contact them nor imagine where they might be. As we continued on, crossed the stream via the big log at the end of the vegetable garden area, and worked our way back to the main trail along a narrow track, we did finally succeed in making contact with the lost hikers and learned they had returned to the 5-way junction and planned to return to the starting point. This was a relief, but also a lesson for this leader that it isvery important to take a head-count at each junction. As it turned out, all 20 of us arrived back at the arboretum at about the same time. Because of the delays caused by the various problems, the hike time was almost 6 hours.
Filed under: Hike Reports