Monday, February 8, 2010

Park Creek Falls

The wife and I headed out early Saturday morning after dropping the kids off (no, that's not a reference to using the restroom) at the parents house. We left the car at around 9:15 and began smashing our way up Park Creek. This was Tammie's first long bushwhack and I wasn't sure how she would take it. Three-quarters of a mile later, we could see the creek on which Lava Divide Falls was located. We decided we were doing well so we would continue another 1.25 miles to Park Creek Falls and then stop at Lava Divide on the way back. Just upstream from Lava Divide's creek, Park Creek itself begins a 1/4 mile long series of gorgeous cascades with about a dozen small, 5-10' tall waterfalls. While the journey upstream was difficult, at least the creek was pretty.
We finally arrived at Park Creek Falls after almost 4 hours of smashing through brush, climbing rocks, and wading across the creek. The lowermost tier is a pretty 25' tall drop that ends in a deep, blue-green pool (see photo on the left).

As I took my pictures of the lower tier, I could see that there were more to falls above so we began to climb up the right side of the creek. Just above the bottom tier was another 20' tall plunging drop. We climbed further up the side and encountered yet another section of falls. This one involved a 15' drop into a pool that was almost completely hidden by rocks surrounding it on three sides. As the creek exited this pool, it dropped another 5' into yet another pool, this one was deep and a gorgeous green. (below)

Climbing yet further up the side of the creek, we encountered the uppermost, and largest, tier of the falls. Park Creek drops around 40' in a very deep, very narrow crack in the rocks, making it difficult to see. As it exits the crack, the creek tumbles another 30' over the bedrock before continue on to the other tiers below. (bottom)
After taking our pictures, we began the slow, very punishing trek back towards the car. By the time we got back to Lava Divide Creek, time was starting to become an issue. We got a brief view of the top of the falls through the trees, but didn't have time to make a closer visit. We finally arrived at the car 7 hours after leaving. We were exhausted, bruised, and scratched up, but we made it to the falls. What you see here are the first pictures of Park Creek Falls ever posted to the internet. Next up: Back to Lava Divide Falls on the 20th for a close up view of the huge upper section.

1 comment:

Karla said...

What a trek!! You guys should be really proud of yourselves for owning that one!! :)