Otter and Big Creek Falls - Taylor River
Apr 29, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Otter and Big Creek Falls - Taylor River
- Region: Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
- Agency: Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District
- Trails: Taylor River (#1002)
- Avg Rating: 4.06
- Hiking Companions
- Hiked with a dog
- Why You Should Go Now
- Wildflowers blooming
- Be Aware Of
- Snow on trail
The trail is long, fairly flat, and meanders alongside the river and through lovely woods. At this time of year it shows lots of signs of winter - numerous blowdowns, patchy snow, and water crossings. Fortunately none of these are so bad as to make the trail unmanageable - just a little slower with these obstacles. I think the average hiker could handle all of these, though if you have issues with balance or strength, this may not be the trail for you - climbing under and over the blowdowns and balancing across rocks on the water crossings could be potentially tricky. (Tip - We found gaiters to be quite helpful with branches, snow and mud. We also had Yak Tracks which were negligible in their help on the snow - it's pretty soft, not icy, and not too slippery). There are also some really interesting broad-petaled yellow flowers in the marshy areas along the trails - and bright pink salmon berry blossoms to enjoy along the way.
The cairn marking the spur to Otter Falls must be hiding under snow (if it still exists at all). We totally missed the trail on our way up, but realized once we got to Big Creek Falls that we had passed it. Big Creek Falls was indeed a lovely place for lunch - nice wide concrete step to sit on and gaze at the falls. On our way back we kept our eyes peeled for the trail to Otter Falls and finally spotted a pair of shorts hung on a branch, and a 5" "Otter Falls" tree carving. Not the most well-marked trail, but I wonder if that's intentional to keep the crowds away?? The trail is kind of hard to find and follow, but it's so short that you can't really miss the falls - just follow your ears.
And oh, Otter Falls. They were worth every pot hole, every blow-down, every post-hole stepped in the snow, and every slippery rock. Gorgeous ribbons and sheets of water sliding down the smooth rock face - a gorgeous and unique waterfall.