Devil Creek Falls – 3-21-2015

It had been since December 2011 since my last visit to the Devil Creek watershed area when my friend Bol’Dar and I took our friend Dave Aldridge to see these hidden beauties so, I thought it was time for another trip there to share with some other worthy friends that I knew would appreciate them. This trek would be a larger group which I normally do not do but, an exception was made and besides myself, the following like-minded outdoor enthusiasts were in attendance: John Forbes, Larry Jarrett, Ken Woody, Dan Till, Derrick Hamrick, and Jeff Dean. After meeting at Hairnt-Quarters, we all carpooled up and proceeded to the trail-head where the first two miles or so would be along the railroad tracks. Disclaimer: This is dangerous and not legal so I can not suggest or condone going there so you should do so at your own risk. There are other ways to get in to the Devil Creek Valley however, it adds considerable miles and some very rugged territory. It was a beautiful morning for a hike but, we knew the bright sun would ruin any chances of acquiring any good waterfall pics.

falls

Twin Falls on Devil Creek

Making our way up the gorge on the railroad tracks I was very surprised that we did not meet a train before reaching the turn off to Devil Creek. This was the first time ever that I have went there and back without encountering a single train in either direction although, we did hear one while we were in up in the valley.

river

View of the tracks as they snake along the river as the early morning fog starts to lift

cliffs

We would be overlooked by jagged cliffs all day as we make our way up one gorge into another

cliffs

One of the cliffs we climbed around on along the river

cliffs

Coming back down after a nice break on top of a cliff overlooking the river

cliffs

More cliffs to play on along the way

The Devil Creek Valley is actually a mini gorge complete with really steep sides lined with sharp, pointy cliffs on both sides. You can spend a whole day there easily just climbing cliffs and another entire day trying to see all the waterfalls that reside in the first half mile of the gorge. On this day it would be mainly waterfalls. Starting at the bottom we slowly worked our way upstream trying to capture each of the numerous falls and cascades attempting to not get in each others way as everyone was doing their best to get pics of this amazing place.

cascades

Cascades as we enter Devil Creek

cascades

One of the first cascades as you enter Devil Creek

cascades

Continuing up Devil Creek it is an endless string of cascades and pools all connected together

cascades

Continuing up Devil Creek , I even got a swirlie on this one !

cascades

Endless Cascades and falls along Devil Creek

cascades

Cascades on Devil Creek

falls

Endless falls, pools and cascades

falls

The higher you go, the prettier they get

falls

You just can`t get enough of this place !

falls

Pools and falls and pools and falls,,,,

falls

Despite the intense light I was able to get lucky on a couple of shots,

falls

It is hard to capture the beauty of this area in a photograph, ya just have to be there

falls

Devil Creek

falls

Sliding in and swimming this pool is awesome !

falls

Of course they are bigger in person than appear in pics,,,

falls

The water drop on the lens just adds to the realness of this area !

falls

Falls along Devil Creek

cliffs

The first of many rock spine cliffs that greet you as you enter into the Devil Creek Gorge. This is on the left side

After the first several cascades the primitive trail follows the creek up to what I call the ‘table top rock’ which hides a really nice waterfall behind it. I always go there first to hang out and get pics before backtracking a short ways to climb up to a high trail that is hidden above which will lead into the gorge high above the creek. I like to go to the upper falls before the light gets too bright and work my way down the creek back to the table top rock to complete the loop. We all caught up at the rock eventually except for Derrick as he is always deep within his element and consumed by the many photo ops that await him along the way ! He would end up coming up the creek instead,  to find us at the upper falls much later in the day !

falls

Nice falls that hides behind the table top rock

falls

Nice falls that hides behind the table top rock

falls

View of the falls from atop the table top rock

falls

John Forbes as he is about to join me on top of the table top rock

falls

John getting a shot from the base of the falls as I look down from high above on the table top rock

falls

Ken and Dan O have joined us at the table top rock falls

cliffs

Looking up my shortcut up to the high trail you can see yet another jagged cliff playground further up into the gorge

Once we got up on the high trail you can get a bigger view of the gorge, the surrounding cliffs, and the creek down below. It is a nice hike up to the upper falls which are a unique and large twin falls with very deep pools below each drop. It did not take long before we were standing across from them and I could watch the others as their mouths drop to the ground as they stood in awe of these magnificent falls.

gorge

Looking down into the lower end of the gorge as we start up the high trail

gorge

Looking down on just a few of the many falls found in the gorge

gorge

HUGE tree that overlooks the gorge. You can see some of the high towering cliffs in the background

gorge

Looking up the high trail towards the cliffs beyond

trail

Looking back at John Forbes, Larry Jarret, Dan Till, and Jeff Dean as they make their way up the high trail that leads into the deep gorge of Devil Creek

hippo

A ‘hippo log’ along the high trail

falls

Twin Falls on Devil Creek

falls

Twin Falls on Devil Creek

falls

if you look closely, high above the upper falls, you can see a huge hornet`s nest suspended in the air.

bees

Zoomed in on hornet`s nest

bees

Zoomed closer on the bee nest

falls

Twin Falls on Devil Creek as seen from the high trail

falls

Twin Falls on Devil Creek as seen from the high trail

From there we continued across the part of the old trail that has collapsed to continue over to the top of the main falls where I advised going past and upstream a short ways to find a really nice set of falls above them. These are very nice and well worth the time to see and spend some time there which we did. There are no other significant falls above these on the entire Devil Creek as I have walked it from where it and its tributaries bubble out of the ground to where it empties into the river.

falls

Falls above the twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Falls just above the twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Falls above the twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Another variation of the falls above the twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Close up of same falls, no delay

falls

Small side falls in a grotto beside the falls above the twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Another shot of the small falls in the grotto beside the falls located above the twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Closer shot of the falls above the twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Straight on view of the falls above the twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Another exposure of the falls above the main twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Falls above the twin falls on Devil Creek

By the time we came back down to the top of the twin falls it was time for a lunch break. I could not help but notice Larry who had crossed over the top of the falls and climbed out across to the very steep side through some thick laurels to a precarious puckering perch right above the top of the twin falls where he was taking pics of something way down below. We would later learn that he had seen Derrick who had slipped into the lower splash pool and was up to his armpits in water trying to keep both cameras dry and still claw his way out of the pool ! Larry did capture a good pic of this action shot ! Derrick soon caught up with us at the top of the falls and proceeded to tell us of his misadventure to which we showed him the pic of !

pool

Derrick working hard to keep traction while keeping two cameras dry in the deep, lower pool of the lower half of the twin falls ! (Photo by Larry Jarret)

cliff

Just a few of the many cliffs at the top of the main falls

falls

Looking across the twists and turns of Devil Creek as it makes it way through the rocky crevasses towards the top of the twin falls

cliffs

Cliffs that are adjacent to the top of the twin falls

cliffs

Lower part of the cliffs adjacent to the top of the twin falls

cliffs

Lots of climbing potential here at the top of the twin falls. Too bad we did not have time for that on this trip.

view

Looking towards the top of the twin falls

view

View from above the top of the twin falls

falls

Hanging out above the top of the twin falls while John creates special effects (these cost extra !)

falls

One of many small falls just above the top of the twin falls

falls

One of the larger drops just above the top of the twin falls

falls

Falls just above the top of the twin falls

ledge

Dan O on a ledge above the twin falls attempting to get the shot

falls

John Forbes sits on a puckering perch above the upper drop of the twin falls taking in the enormity and beauty of the upper plunge pool

falls

Dan O works to get a shot of the upper drop of the twin falls and splash pool

falls

Ken makes his way around the top of the twin falls

falls

It is hard to get a good close up shot of the upper part of the twin falls without a rope but I did the best I could

falls

Looking down on the lower part of the twin falls

falls

Upper splash pool and top of the lower part of the twin falls. I plan to swim in this pool soon.

falls

Upper half of the twin falls

falls

Upper half of the twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Upper half of the twin falls

falls

I had to stand on a very slick and precarious ledge without a rope to get this shot of the upper drop of the twin falls

falls

Looking down from near the top of the lower half of the twin falls

After spending some more time at the top of the falls, I led the way down to the base of the falls while Derrick went upstream to get pics of the falls above as he had already came upstream and got all he needed from below. He caught back up in time for a nice group shot he took of us all at the base of the twin falls before we all followed the creek back out to the table top rock rock.

falls

Looking across at the twin falls, you can see the hornet`s nest high above them

falls

Eye level with the upper half of the twin falls

falls

Twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Twin Falls on Devil Creek

falls

Twin falls on Devil Creek

falls

Lower half of the twin falls and splash pool

falls

Lower part of the twin falls on Devil Creek

group

Group shot taken at the base of the twin falls on Devil Creek (Photo by Derrick Hamrick)

There are many small falls and cascades as you continue downstream and if you are not in such a hurry to see how many miles you can do in one day and, take your time instead, you will see a section of an old narrow gauge railroad track that has been bent by the force of the flood waters and rocks, laying beside the creek. It is apparent that this area was logged by rail many years ago.

falls

First set of falls found below the twin falls

falls

First set of falls found just below the twin falls

cliffs

Castle cliffs that sit high above the twin falls

gorge

Looking out the gorge on our way downstream from the twin falls. You can see John Forbes among the large boulders there

falls

John and Derrick introducing themselves tot he falls !

falls

Dan O at one of the many falls along Devil Creek as Derrick gets unique shots from underneath !

falls

Falls along Devil Creek

rail

Bent train rail

rail

John and the bent train track rail

rail

Close up of the narrow gauge train rail

rail

Larry, Jeff, Dan O, and Ken check out the bent train track

Continuing on it is not long before you find yourself above the falls at the table top rock where you can either climb up the steep, rocky bank back to the high trail or, as we did on this trip, we crossed the creek and went around the falls on that side to reach the rock where were took a long break. The only bad thing of the day happened there as, we all watched in horror when Ken Woody knocked his camera over into the creek. Luckily after a few days in rice the camera and the lens came back to life !

creek

Here we have made our way back down to just above the falls that hide behind the table top rock.

gorge

John makes his way down a steep rocky ridge to a puckering perch just above the falls that hide above the table top rock that Larry Jarret is standing atop of. From here one must either climb the steep bank up to the high trail OR as we did on this trip, cross the creek to get around the falls and get to the table top rock

falls

Looking down from the falls at the table top rock while Larry stands on top of it

falls

John hangs on to a tree to get the best view of the falls

falls

Derrick getting a shot of the top of the falls

falls

The falls and the table top rock

falls

After I crossed the creek and made my way to the table top rock, this was my view of the falls and John as he climbed higher on the rocky mountainside

rocks

John decided to play along the rocky hillside and go that way back around to the table top rock to join us

rock

John joins us and stands beside the table top rock

creek

Ken at the table top rock just seconds before that camera fell over into the creek !

It was a quick hike from the table top rock back down by the numerous cascades to the tracks and the river where we made short work of the 2 mile return trip, again to be surprised by no trains passing. There were also several kayakers making their way down the river.  We stopped to play on one of the larger cliffs found along the river where I got a few pics of John as he enjoyed himself immensely becoming one with them.

river

Kayaks coming down the river

river

Kayaks

river

Kayaks passing us by

creek

One last look, saying goodbye to Devil Creek

tracks

Trekking down the tracks

iron

Some kind of iron ore we found along the tracks. This small piece was VERY HEAVY !

iron

Iron along tracks,, extremely heavy !

iron

Iron ore,,, pig iron ?? Very heavy,,

view

Mountain view, trees budding making almost fall like colors in Spring

river

Kayaks along the river

cliffs

Kayaks approach and pass by the cliffs while John (orange) makes his way to a puckering perch to meditate

cliff

John finds the sweet spot

cliff

Cool shot of John on the cliff

cliff

John sits for a Zen moment, the sound of only the river in his ears,,, Ohhhhmmmmm !

cliff

Closer shot of John high above the swirly hole

cliff

Feeling rejuvenated, John assumes the pose !

cliffs

Huge birds flying over some cliffs above the river

cliffs

Birds flying over some cliffs

cliffs

Finally got the birds in the right spot !!

drain

John poking his nose into a large tanker car that the RR cut the ends off of and laid sideways to be used for a drain tunnel. The tracks go over top of this.

group

Part of the group taking a break. I took this mainly because of the sky

We made it out before dark which is always a plus so, it had been another great day in Nature with a great group of people, many of which who saw several falls and mountains they had never seen before. Some of us stopped at Clarence`s for the post hike grub out which is always awesome. I got a pic of my salad but, was so hungry I ate my main entree before thinking to take a pic although, I did get a pic of my hot fudge sundae dessert ! I am already looking forward to the next epic adventure. Until next time,,,,

salad

My salad

dessert

My dessert

Posted on 14 May '15 by , under RATtreks.

You must be logged in to post a comment.