I went to a touristy trail and also found a seldom-seen waterfall.
Wolf Creek Trail is one of the more popular trails in Douglas County. The waterfall(s) at the end are really nice and the trail is great. Looking above it, I found this on Google Earth:
The red circle is Wolf Creek Falls (at least the upper fall), while the yellow is the mystery fall. It measured out in the 25-30' range on Google Earth. This time, I actually had a backup plan. I was going to head to the main falls and try and find a rumored trail to the waterfall above. If that didn't work, I was going to head back to the car and drive to the top, then hike down through and old clear cut that gently slopes down to the creek.
Piece of cake.
Just like always.
This is where Wolf Creek converges with Little River. It's an interesting little slide.
I took a detour at the beginning of the trail and found a really cool spot (no pictures...) and this dewey web.
Monolithic rock next to trail. Many of the rocks through here are a type of sandstone. Everytime I'm on the trail, I wonder if this will be the year this particular rock tips over, as its siting position is extremely precarious.
Here are some macros:
Time to get back on the move.
This is at a nice little spot that has a picnic table nearby.
There are some very nice areas along the 1.2 mile trail.
I had been up this trail years ago and forgot just how beautiful it is.
This was a very pretty spot. Taking video is harder than taking pictures. With pictures, you only see the end result. With video, you see the movements of the camera as well.
I've thought about doing something like this for a while now. Taking video of the actual hike. At about the 1:35 mark, the colors change. The camera automatically adjusted for whatever reason. I saw how cool it looked and stopped to take a picture. This is why the video is cut here.
This marsh was something I tried to take a picture of and none turned out satisfactorily. This short video will have to do.
I think I spent as much physical time trying to take this picture as I did just about any other picture on this trip. I also spent as much mental time trying to think of something funny to say about the chair. Both attempts were failures.
A little side creek.
This is Wolf Creek Falls. I've seen it referred to as one waterfall as well as separated into Upper and Lower Wolf Creek Falls. Someone needs to cut those trees down so we can enjoy nature more better.
I don't know who Scott Campbell was, but I appreciated the bench.
The view from the bench, which is similar to the pic above a ways. This is where I ate lunch.
This is Lower Wolf Creek Falls (or the lower section of Wolf Creek Falls). Both pictures are of the same piece of water and both could easily pass for different waterfalls.
This is the upper fall from the streambed. It is one of those falls that feels quite a bit taller than it actually is. To the right of it is a massively tall rock wall and the lower falls are just to the left. This creates the illusion that these falls are really tall and they just aren't. Very pretty, however.
This shows the extremely steep conditions on that side of the creek. The trail to the falls up above just cannot go over this. You can see the same rock outcropping as in the first moment of the Upper Falls video.
With this, I started to head back to get after that upper waterfall from above. I saw no trail that would lead to it from the main trail. I hoofed it back down the trail and to the car. I had an entry point marked on the GPS to hike in from. Problem was it took the GPS 10 minutes to locate the satellites. I had to guess on which forks to take in the road. Amazingly enough, when the GPS finally got its act together, I was very close to where I was going to start the second hike.
I hope this person appreciated their birthday balloon. It would be really interesting to be able to know where the party was, because it definitely was not here. Thanks for trashing the forest, though.
Happy birthday Martha, happy birthday, birthday girl
I'm sorry I can't be there for that party, birthday girl
But pin the tail upon the donkey in that party dress
Balloons, and cake, 2 kinds of ice cream
I guess you'll be a mess.
Speaking of mess, the hike down wasn't too bad. The old clear cut I picked out as a launch point had massive elk beds and game trails running all through it. Once out of the clear cut, the forest was also pretty easy to navigate. The problem ended up being when I came up to the waterfall itself. It seemed to be a straight drop-off alongside it. A little patience allowed me to see that there were enough places to step on that I could make it most of the way down to the creek with some careful foot placement and planning.
These are jelly fungus. They're actually edible, but I understand they don't really have much of a taste. No, I didn't eat them. The second picture is with yellow being the only color turned on. The only one of these I posted this time. These were taken while on the descent. There were other jelly fungi here and there, but none had this perfect candy shape.
The unnamed waterfall that was the destination. The terrain was steep and loose and I'm basically clinging to the side of the hill about 30' above the creek floor. At the end of the video, you're looking at what seems to be the very top of Wolf Creek Falls. It's not. There's another small waterfall immediately above those falls that's probably 20-30 feet tall. It is mostly impossible to see from the Wolf Creek trail, and you can only glimpse it near the memorial bench.
This is the waterfall I was hunting down. I could have made it down to the creek level, but I don't know if I could have made it back up. It was very steep and pretty slick the rest of the way. Getting back off the steep slope was easier than I thought. It was tiring, but not all that difficult. That said...I doubt I'll ever come back to this one.
I never did see any type of real trail leading back down the creek. The other side of the creek contains that tall rock wall and it was straight up and down as far as I could see. If there is a trail, or ever was, it would be on the east side of the creek.