Updated Google Earth images gave me an updated impetus to venture back to Huckleberry Creek.
The last time I was exploring Huckleberry Creek, I found it most rude and swore I'd never go back. Emphasis on the swearing part. I suspected there was a waterfall up the creek a ways, but I wasn't interested in another battle on a whim.
Image from 2014:
Not a lot to go on.
But as I was looking around the area recently on Google Earth, I saw something interesting in the 2016 images:
The images show a waterfallish section of creek. It's a big, jumbly mess which usually means it's something worth checking out.
Being the optimistic sort, I talked myself into believing that the bottom wasn't as big of a pain as it was the first time. I was wrong. It doesn't look that bad and the area isn't all that big, it just sucks.
Looking back towards where I walked through. Those huge brown maple leaves cover everything, so you never see where it's safe to step. This is especially helpful when making your way along the monstrous logjam filled with tiny branches.
This is the waterfall which brought me here originally. Before this trip, it was Huckleberry Creek Falls. After this trip, it will be Lower Huckleberry Creek Falls.
I climbed up this wall on the left of the picture and made my way to the top. This was a bit tedious and a bit of a battle in wet conditions.
Looking back at the land of maple doom.
Above the lower waterfall, things smoothed out.
It was fairly flat and not all that difficult to move along.
The rock walls of the canyon are intimidating.
You can see the salamander in the center of the pool.
I didn't see a lot of wildlife in here. One very large raven and this giant Pacific salamander, and that was it.
This nice little slide cascade was hiding about halfway up.
Bends in a walled creek cause hiking problems, as it generally means that you have to cross the creek. That axiom was true in this case and it caused me hiking problems.
The water was too deep to wade and a log crossing was not available. Crossing at the slide cascade wasn't an option, either. I ended up jumping as far as I could, mostly in nihilistic defiance of the fact that time has robbed me of the 36-inch vertical leap of my youth. I landed about where the two branches part, where the water was a deceptive 1' deep. The mature thing would have been to take off my boots, walk through the water, dry my feet off with the towel I brought for such purposes, put my boots back on, keep moving. "Screw that! I'm jumping!"
A couple more corners and my GPS told me the waterfall was ahead. I saw white flashing through the branches and then saw this:
Not bad at all. The next picture is from standing along that further log.
The long, straight, clear creek is a cool feature that isn't all that common. It was between a few inches deep to a foot deep.
There are a couple tiers up there.
From the time I left the road until this waterfall, I saw no signs that people have stood here recently or any kind of footpaths. However, there is a road up above the waterfall.
This old tire was sitting here with nothing else around it. My guess is that someone rolled it from the top at the road decades ago.
It started to rain pretty good by this point, so I started heading back. Instead of going the way I came, I decided to climb the steep incline to the road, then walk back along it. In retrospect, this was a really stupid choice. It was really steep the whole way. About halfway up, it became loose dirt and rock. As I pulled a large branch out of the way, it dislodged a huge rock, which then tumbled down into my shin. The terrain was so steep that I couldn't dodge it, just had to brace myself and hope for the best. The best in this scenario ended up being a knot on my leg the size of a grapefruit.
I kept an eye for footpaths and found none. Around the halfway point to the top, there were signs of old logging activity. I also was looking for a way to see the upper tiers. There is a rocky outcrop that may provide a view, but with the rain and exposed rocks I'd have to climb up, I figured it would have to wait until I get bored enough to come back.
In the end, Huckleberry Creek Falls turned out to be a surprisingly nice waterfall, though one I'm only moderately interested in returning to. But, it is quite obvious that the best way in and out is from below.
According to Lidar data, there is a third waterfall a ways above this one, with an additional 2 smaller ones mixed in.