While looking around the topo maps sometime last year, I noticed a faint “Falls” along Highway 138. It was in an obscure location, so I decided to check it out.
On Google Earth and my topo software, the falls measure out in the 200 foot-range.
Interestingly enough, on Flash Earth, the falls look like an odd, jumbled mess of a spot.
The plan was to drop off the road and crawl up the creek. There was a meager, interspersed game trail to follow. One of the benefits of hiking straight up a creek is knowing that all you have to do is find the easiest path to the bottom. Despite the extreme steepness of the canyon, this was the easiest creek crawl I’ve ever done.
It is a pretty little creek, but not special like some others. It is mostly free from brush and littered with plenty of large rocks to step on, which means more time to spend at the important parts. The rocks are sunken into the ground and only one tipped on me.
Nice cleavage. This picture is out of focus except in the very center. That's because for most of the day, I had the camera on the wrong setting. Oops...
I saw bear poo near the beginning of the hike, but saw little presence of large animals later. Just a single deer bone in the creek. That means there are many smaller animals which are more comfortable hanging out in the open.
This was a pretty good-sized frog that came out of nowhere and gave me a good startle.
Different frog, about half the size, but because of some forced perspective, it looks much larger than the first one.
This fly was on the same rock as the frog. I don't know what kind it is but this is as close as I wanted to get to it.
These are harvestmen. They are arachnids, but not true spiders. Little flash on the first one to get the odd lighting effect. The second one was the largest harvestman I've ever seen and by a significant margin. Front to back leg area stretched across my outstretched hand. Its legs were flailing very rapidly.
As I headed up the creek, I noticed a very flat section of ground about 20 feet above the creek. Turns out, this is a very old logging road and I took it on the way out. It is fairly overgrown but still probably a bit easier than the creek.
After a short hike, the falls came into view. Turns out, Upper Susan Creek Falls is pretty spectacular, even minus much water flow.
Up close, there wasn't a lot of water flowing, as expected, and the direct sunlight blotted out the little bit that was going over. It being mid-September, I knew there wasn’t going to be much water going over. This was a scouting trip to see how to get into and out of the area so I could come back during the winter or spring when the water level is high.
Outside of the scramble down and the uphill grind back up, this was the easiest off-trail hike I’ve done in a while. I was expecting much worse, something in the neighborhood of Flat Rock Falls. The site is on the BLM's proposed list of places to put a trail into.