Small Falls, An Unnamed Falls, and Delsatch Falls – 4-4-2017

After a month and a half of no hiking, I jumped at the first chance I got to get away to the mountains. It had to be somewhere close so I chose some falls in the Clark Creek area that my son Tyler had not yet seen. We left as early as we could but, by the time we crossed the creek several times and got to our first location which would be Small Falls, the sun was just coming over the ridge and we knew then that it would be too bright for getting any decent photos. Since I already had pics of all the falls we would be going to, it did not bother me so we just relished in the beauty that was around us. These falls are only about 15 feet in vertical height but, still worth the short side trip to reach them. We cleaned up some debris before taking what pics we could and then went back down to the main creek to continue on to the next falls.

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Small Falls

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Small Falls

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Small Falls

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Small Falls

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These quaint, unnamed falls are downstream from Small Falls where it empties into Clark Creek.

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Another angle of the falls below Small Falls where that unnamed branch joins Clark Creek

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Isolated shot of the upper drop of these nice little falls below Small Falls right where it joins Clark Creek

I had left word with my friend Tommy ‘Bol’Dar’ Warden where we were going in case he was able to join us at some point in time so, I left a ‘Rat > Patrol’ mark on the ground using sticks pointing which way we had gone like we all used to do back in the old days. Apparently he was unable to make it as we never did see him. Our next stop would be another really nice set of waterfalls that I found about 30+ years ago that still remain unnamed and to my knowledge undocumented by anyone other than myself and some of my fellow Rat Patrol friends. The water level was really good on this trip which made it worth the steep off trail climb to reach them. They are however, hard to photograph as they are closed in by the steep sides and laurels and you are constantly using at least one hand to hold on while trying to take pictures so I could only use my pocket cam and not my tripod or larger camera.

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Unnamed Falls

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Unnamed Falls

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Unnamed Falls

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Unnamed Falls

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Unnamed Falls

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Top of the unnamed falls

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Unnamed Falls. Without roping up it is not possible to get a an unobstructed frontal shot of these falls. Just getting down to the water would be impossible without being on a rope. It is insanely steep here.

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Panning down to show more of the unnamed falls as you can not get them all into one photo.

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More of the unnamed falls

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Tyler hanging on for scale to show the size and height of these beautiful unnamed falls.

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Another shot of Tyler at the unnamed falls

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Tyler at the falls. Now that we have ropes and gear, I would like to come back and get a clear shot of the falls taken from the water

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Tyler attempting to help me show how steep it is here !

From there we continued onward to the main destination which would be Delsatch Falls or as we have always called them, Chigger Branch Falls aka Milky Way Cascades. I have no idea who named them ‘officially’ or why that name was chosen. Once you get off Clark Creek and start up Chigger Branch, it is about one mile to reach the falls. Not steep yet , it is gradually uphill all the way. The falls are listed at 85 feet but, when I took my friend Dave Aldridge there, his hypsometer proved them to be 120 feet. The water was flowing nicely on this day and it did look like milk and it was easy to see why we called them Milky Way Cascades so long ago. Despite being really steep, the falls are not vertical which causes the water to spread out evenly across them giving the illusion of milk instead of water. The light was too bright for good pics but, I did what I could and Tyler and I hung out there for a long time and even climbed to the top of them to see the upper drops of the falls that are not visible from the base.

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Another nice wet weather falls on a side branch that flows into Clark Creek

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Making our way up Chigger Branch you can see how steep the ridges are on each side, the left side being a finger off the main Chigger ridge !

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Small drop along Chigger Branch

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Same small drop along Chigger branch using my pocket cam without a tripod

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Chigger Branch

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Another pretty drop along Chigger Branch

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There are several of these along chigger branch as you make your way towards the main falls

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A larger drop as we near the main falls

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Here you can see Tyler already at the base of the main falls getting some pics with his phone.

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The main falls

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The main event. You can see the smudge on my lens that ruined almost every shot I took here.

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Can you see why we named them Milky Way Cascades now ?

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I will be glad when that fallen tree is gone on the left side. There used to be a dead log that was all the way across the falls but, that was winched out of the way by someone who will remain unnamed at this time !

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Tyler climbing back down from getting some close up shots

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Looking down from the top of the falls. You can see Tyler`s red shirt below.

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Top of the falls. You would not want to slip here.

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Top of the falls. I can still see Tyler (in red) at the base

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Halfway down the falls

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Making my way back down the falls I still was unaware my lens was dirty

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My view from about half way down the falls

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Wider angle of my view from about half way down the falls (smudged lens and all)

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Up close and personal with the big fallen tree that I wish was gone, about halfway down the falls.

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Side view of this part of the falls

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Lower part of the falls

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The main falls taken with my larger camera. I was having some issues with the settings on it so no great pics were obtained on this trip at all.

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main falls taken with larger cam

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Tyler adding scale to the main falls (taken with my larger camera)

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Tyler at the main falls

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Rarely does Tyler ever do a Gnome pose !!! This was obviously a special occasion !

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I on the other hand, do gnome poses all the time !

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Me, gnome posing on the other leg !

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Me, at the main falls. This was before I hurt my elbow and had to stop lifting weights 🙁

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Me, at the top of the falls ! (look for the blue)

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This may be the best pic I took of these falls on this trip

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Main falls

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Chigger falls (Delsatch)

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I like this angle of the falls.

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This shows the lower part of the falls

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Lower part of the falls

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Lowest drop of the falls

The lighting only got brighter as the day progressed but, it was not cold and it is really an awesome place to be so, we thoroughly enjoyed it. Hiking back out is much easier but, I was disappointed that I was unable to find the old tractor hood that has been on the side of the trail for so long. Obviously someone has carried it out since Dave and I were there last. it did not take as long to get back to Clark Creek and from there only another mile back to the Jeep. Another stellar day in the RAT`s neighborhood and we are already looking forward to the next outing. Until then,,,

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Last creek crossing before the Jeep !

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Tyler trying out some new water shoes at the last creek crossing !

Posted on 18 January '18 by , under RATtreks.

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