Rainy and Windy: A Nearly Perfect Day Along Brice Creek
The Brice Creek Trail and Upper Trestle Falls Trail are absolutely essential hiking if you're from Eugene or just in the area for a few days.
There are serval access points to the Brice Creek Trail and your round-trip hike can range anywhere from approximately 3 to 10 miles. The western most trailhead lies shortly after entering Umpqua National Forest, there is only a small sign so watch out for it closely. I started my hike at the Cedar Creek trailhead, which is also where Cedar Creek Campground is. The campground looked pretty awesome, but was still gated off because of the winter closure.
|Brice Creek Falls|
Once again there was a trail closed sign because of a landslide, but the Forest Service( FS) posts those signs as way to cover themselves if you get hurt. I didn't realize until after the hike how impressive the landslide really was, one of the FS employees told me they are still looking for a bridge that was swept away.
That stream above was only about 8 inches wide before the slide. The picture doesn't really do it justice though. The Brice Creek trail is pretty straight forward, it stays creek side for the majority of the time except one climb that leads to an outstanding view of Brice Creek.
Because of the high winds I was paying a lot of attention to the massive Douglas Firs and Cedars that line Brice Creek. At times it was terrifying to hear the snapping of a large branch that sounds eerily like a gunshot and not knowing where it will fall.
|Campsite Between the Trail and Brice Creek|
Once you reach the junction with Upper Trestle Falls you can follow the trail up to the falls then loop back to Brice Creek trail.
The Upper Trestle Fall Loop is a 3 mile side trip that is definitely worth it. The 1.1 miles from Brice Creek up to the falls are the most strenuous of the whole hike, but it's not a very steep grade. The falls are a perfect spot for lunch or a swim if it's warm. Apparently the flow of the falls is diminished quite a bit during the summer, so it may be best to see it in winter and summer. Thanks to near record rain fall this March the falls were raging! To make it even better, the trail passes behind the falls.
|Upper Trestle Falls|
|Behind Upper Trestle Falls|
Shortly after the falls you come across an area with some benches, it is surrounded by a few awesome old-growth Douglas-fir.
After connecting back to the Brice Creek Trail simply head downstream to return to Cedar Creek Campground. I've recently started enjoying out-and-back hikes, because they give you an opportunity to see things you may have missed, or they give you a different and better perspective on something you noticed earlier.
|Massive Cedar Along Trestle Creek|
I highly recommend stopping by the Cottage Grove Ranger Station before you hike, they have a lot of useful information and their employees are awesome. They even have a color book containing all hikes in their district for free! Ranger Station Location