Thought I'd do a quick write-up on an overnight I did last weekend. Headed out to the Wilson Creek Wilderness early Saturday morning and stayed until late Sunday morning. The weather was killer (lows of about 30 and highs at about 60 - sunny). I wanted to test out some gear I just finished making - a 9 x 9 tarp and a new pack - before taking it out on the Foothills Trail in a few weeks.
Got out on the trial by about 10:30am (2.5 hour drive and beers the night before made for a not-quite-crack-of-dawn situation). The trail starts descending right away down to Lost Cove Creek and intersects with the trail of the same name.
This is where Lost Cove Creek trail crosses the creek to go west. Super nice little trail with 5 or 6 creek crossings. I was loving my new La Sportiva Wildcats for these - just plowed right on through. I actually headed east along the trail though at first, which puts you at Huntfish Falls after about 10 seconds of walking.
Huntfish Falls. Heading east, this is on your left and empties into a killer swimming hole...
I'm told this spot gets pretty busy in summer - I only saw two other people camped nearby. There is also another very cool little waterfall on the other side of the trail at this spot.
After snapping some photos at Huntfish I continued east / northeast for about 1.5 or 2 miles to Gragg Prong Falls. There's easy access to the top of Gragg Prong from the trail and I stopped for lunch.
The ramen was indeed tasty.
Looking down Gragg Prong Falls.
Strangely enough, a bat also decided it was lunch time despite the daylight. He was munching down on gnats in a major way.
I was dive-bombed at least 3 times.
After lunch I headed back down the Lost Cove Creek Trail the way I had come. This went for about 4 or 4.5 miles (including the backtrack and back by Huntfish Falls) to where the trail interects with the Timber Ridge Trail. This trail heads up from Lost Cove Creek and shockingly follows Timber Ridge, reconnecting with Lost Cove Creek Trail south of Gragg Prong Falls. There's a nice little camp right when you reach the top of the ridge. Just a note, it's mostly nice, easy switchbacks getting up to the ridge, but the last part (right after a bit of a trail junction - turn right) is a little harsh, especially when you're hucking extra water.
Setting up camp.
Blue tarp camping - totally digging the 9+ x 9+ space of my new tarp. I had fun playing with different pitches for about an hour before I decided a lean-to facing east for the sunrise factor would be key. Speaking of which...
Needless to say it was a fine morning. Nice and chilly - I took my time with coffee and breakfast before packing up for the short hike out.
This gives a pretty idea of the views you come across hiking along the Timber Ridge Trail. Not too shabby.
All in all it was a great little mini-trip. The new gear worked out great - my pack is the most comfortable I've ever carried and I'm digging the versatility and space of the square tarp. I'm all set for the Foothills Trail - leaving two weeks from tomorrow. Score.
I highly recommend the Wilson Creek Wilderness, especially in the winter/shoulder seasons when there are less folks around. Tons of great trails, views and waterfalls. Thanks for reading - hope you enjoyed it.