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Trip Report: Falls Creek Trail
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Trip Report: Falls Creek Trail

Trip Report: Falls Creek Trail

falls creek falls

Last week the guy who delivers the Mercury Magazines to the shop told me there were going to be some regulation changes at Dog Mountain trail head, due to increased use of the area. So of course, I figured we should “get up early” Saturday, and hike Dog Mountain. My logic was that it would only get busier, so I should hit it one last time.

Fast-forward to 9:30 am (NOT early), when we arrived at Dog mountain...to find the parking lot 100% full. OK, so we consulted the guidebook and decide on Table Mountain. My husband Adam is reading the book while we drive and yells “Turn here!” at the Carson cut off. He tells me about a sweet hike we hadn't noticed before, so I pull over...and point out that hike #30 is waaaay north of here, and he was actually looking at the hwy 30 symbol. Since we're already in Carson, we decide to go with an old standby, Falls Creek Falls.

This is definitely an easy hike compared to Dog Mountain; it's a 1.5 mile hike in to the falls. But whatever, we can stop by his parents cabin and say hi to our nephew; it's more fun to roll with the punches than to be disappointed we won't get the views or the workout we were looking for.

At the trail head, we were the 11th car (compared to 40+ at Dog Mountain). Adam suggested we just hike really fast so we can still count this as a training hike for our upcoming John Muir Trail trip. I am sooo down with that! Adam had his new Leki Legacy trekking poles, which I showed him how to adjust for height and comfort. Check out my “How To Use Your Trekking Poles” blog entry for details. With trekking poles fully adjusted and flying, we zoomed up moderately graded trail, until we were starting to feel it in our legs and lungs. The trail follows Falls Creek, so there's always the soothing noise of the water in the background. This time of year there's also a bunch of different wildflowers dotting the forest floor.

Catching our first glimpse of the falls is magical. I've only been in the summer, when this heavily forested hike is a refreshing respite from the blazing heat of the city. In spring, when unseasonably warm weather has increased the flow of this snow-melt fed creek, the falls are roaring. The sun is just poking over the hills, and all the spray in the air is glowing. We spend ten minutes trying to get the perfect shot on our cell phone cameras (and failing to actually capture the beauty) and snacking before turning around to head back down the trail.

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