Monday, June 16, 2008

Big Creek Falls / Otter Falls

It's been a bit since I posted and I've been having so much fun exploring the Northwest so I wanted to just quickly put up one of my recent adventures. I will be adding my Mt. Si adventure shortly, but it was a doozy and will take a bit out of me just to write it down!

As a side note, my iPhone was stolen from Del's truck on one of our bike rides a couple weeks ago so all these pictures are taken with a Nokia N75. As the new iPhone is coming out shortly, there are no replacements for me so I will have to wait until the 11th to get my phone back. :(

The Big Creek Falls / Taylor River trail is an old forestry service road that has been reclaimed by the forest. It is about 10 miles round trip and gains about 700 feet to an elevation of around 1800 feet at the falls. Del had done a search for trails around 10 miles and found this one. Seeing as the gain was not much we knew it was going to be a nice stroll through the trees and would give him opportunities to get some really great shots in.

The drive in took us past quite a few trails, two even big enough for a large trail head, then to a dirt road that followed the Taylor River. We weren't exactly sure if this was the correct trail, but a quick question to a passing hiker let us know we were in the right place. We threw on the backpacks and started up.

The trail starts at a bridge over the Taylor River and winds upwards through a beautiful and lush forest. It was a beautiful sunny day and luckily the trail is not that busy, which was strange because it was a Sunday, but everything I had read about this trail mentioned that it wasn't often used. We soon discovered the drawback, as we came across the first of many downed trees across the path along with the multiple waterfalls and streams that went directly across the trail.

I can't even count the number of waterfalls we came across. At two points the stream over took the trail and we had to find a way to scramble over it to the other side.
After 5 miles we reached Big Creek Falls, which I ended up only taking one picture of because there was a group of people who had hiked up to a rock mid way up the falls to have a picnic and Del wanted to wait until they were out of the shot. So we took a short break to enjoy the sun and the spray from the falls.

I had read that there was another very large waterfall in the area called Otter Falls. Del pulled out Tom Tom to see if we could navigate towards it. Luckily because we were on a forestry service road, Tom Tom picked it up and lead us in a direction...the wrong direction! We continued up the road another mile and came upon a lot of snow, which is really exhausting to walk on, and a fork in the trail. A sign pointed us to Snoqualmie Lake, which was another 2 miles up. We took stock of our supplies and decided that we would have to leave it for another time. Still no Otter Falls, however.

I mentioned to Del that the trail to Otter Falls supposedly before Big Creek Falls and is marked by a pile of rocks. He had seen a little tower of rocks on our way up so we started back down, stopping at Big Creek Falls to take a couple pictures.

We were pretty tired at this point, already having gone 7 miles through snow, streams and trees so on the way down Del pulled out his trusty phone and played us a little music. "Touch pinky's body..." It was a welcome sound and helped moral, however we were pretty exhausted.

Still, when we came upon the pile of rocks we just had to see if we could find the falls. You could hear them from the trail and at one point Del looked up through the trees and saw the top of the falls about 1500 feet up. It was a beautiful sight and I knew we were in for a treat. The trail was unmarked and also completely unmaintained. We basically made our own trail over trees and up a hill until we came to a crest where you could see the falls thorough the trees. Once we came up over the crest and down into the valley created by the falls and Libby Lake, we were able to see the bottom 500 feet of the falls. They were breathtaking and honestly these pictures don't do it justice. Del took some amazing shots that will make their way to his website.

As always, it was awelcome sight to see the Explorer after the hike. The sun was setting creating an orange glow and the moon was almost full and was rising behind the hills. It was a great hike, a wonderful Father's Day and a good time with my partner in crime.

Speaking of crime, that evening Del's truck was broken into AGAIN. This time taking his GPS, so this was our last adventure with Tom Tom. However, I have a bit of a surprise for him tomorrow, so I'm thinking this won't be the last post that includes the beloved GPS.

No comments: