Otter and Big Creek Falls - Taylor River
Jul 23, 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
- Why You Should Go Now
- Ripe berries
We started from Seattle on an overcast morning, and reached the trailhead a little after 10:00, after about an hour and a half of driving--the potholes were not deep, but man, were there a lot of them! We were the first car there.
The trail (or overgrown road, or in some places not-quite-overgrown-yet road) is easy walking in dense, mossy forest, alternating in and out of sight of the river. We could not find the side trail up Marten Creek to Marten Falls, but instead walked directly to the Otter Falls turnoff, marked this time by a clear, printed sign and a big arrow made out of rocks, pointing left. There really isn't any trail up the hillside, but it's easy to walk up the soft floor of forest litter between the trees; it only takes about five minutes to get to the falls. They were quite stunning, even without the sunshine that would have tempted a swim in the pond (Lipsy "Lake") at their base. It's intriguing to sit and watch the changing patterns of the water coming down the smooth rock face toward the pond. A ground squirrel or two wanted to share our lunch, but we were greedy. There were also some very dark purple, ripe thimble berries.
We thought we might be able to scramble up through more forest to the top of the falls, but the combination of those tennis shoes and a thickening of the undergrowth a few hundred feet up discouraged us, and we made our way back down to the main trail.
We strolled on to Big Creek falls, which is also very nice, but a bit inferior to Otter, and gazed at them from that odd, massive highway bridge.
Then we turned around and walked back, and had nice chats with three other parties headed for Otter Falls after us. It looked like one or more of them might be lucky enough to see it in the sunshine that we had missed by going earlier.
I think this hike might be nice in the wintertime, when the highlands are covered in snow. Maybe I'll be back...