Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Epic Road Trip: Days 1 and 2 - Little River Valley Waterfalls

On July 8th, 2012, Oscar and I set out to begin our 30 day long epic road trip. It was full of awesomeness! Our lease at our former apartment ended at the end of June, and we found a new apartment closer to Oscar's work that didn't have an opening until August 10th. Oscar was able to take an entire month off of work, and my sister was kind enough to let us stay with her for the week before the trip and the week after we got back. After attending church in Redmond, we left her house at around 11am and made our way down to Cavitt Falls campground in central Oregon.

We stopped off for a lasagna dinner in the nearest city. I think it might have been Roseburg, OR, but I'm not certain about that. Whatever it was called, it was pretty small.

Though we made it to the campground without a lot of daylight left, we were still able to see one waterfall - Shadow Falls. We hiked just under a mile and arrived just before it became too dark to get a decent picture.

Cavitt Falls campground itself was pretty decent for being a campground without facilities. It was only $8 a night, and the outhouse was clearly well looked after, well lit, and even smelled decent. And Cavitt Falls the waterfall makes for a cute little swimming hole.

The next morning we headed on out to the Little River Valley. Our first stop was at Wolf Creek Falls. I'd read that it was a 2 mile hike, which made me think it was 4 round trip, but it turned out to be only 2 miles total, 1 each way. It was a nice surprise to get to the waterfall much earlier than we were expecting.

You can see from these pictures that it's actually a double drop, but it was difficult to view them both together due to the foliage, and the lower drop wasn't easily accessible.

I could see this much (left pic) from the trail, but Oscar bushwhacked down to the base and got the above pics and the one on the right.

We continued down the valley and hiked .7 miles to this lovely drop - Yakso Falls. This is one that would be worth coming back for in the Spring when there's more water flow.

Just across the street from the Yakso Falls trail is a campground with 2 more trails. One trail leads to Tributary Falls and Middle Hemlock Falls. I'm not sure which of these 3 small drops qualifies as which falls. 

Just further up the trail is Upper Hemlock falls, which is the best of the trails cataracts. We had to bushwhack down to it since the view on the left is all you'll get from the trail. The trail continues on, but I have no idea what it ultimately leads to.

The other trail in the campground leads to Lower Hemlock Falls. This one was fairly pretty, and I braved walking out onto a scary log to get a better view of it. It wasn't terribly far from the ground, but I have the world's worst balance and nearly fell off getting out to where I need to be.

Our last destination in the Little River Valley was grotto falls. There was some beautiful scenery on the way up to it.
Grotto Falls was pretty nifty since you could walk behind it. This is another one that would be worth returning for.

Oscar had a fun time playing in the spray. It would have made for a pretty intense shower. I kept my distance off to the side.

We then drove out of the Little River Valley and made our way into the Idleyld Park area to get to Susan Creek Falls campground. This is a fairly popular campground that fills up quickly (most Oregon campgrounds are first come/first serve) since it's right in between Eugene, OR and Crater Lake. It's also has showers and flush toilets for $14 a night. It was nice to get a warm shower after all of our hiking that day. Before showering, though, we checked out Deadline Falls. I saw a really big salmon trying to jump the falls in its attempt to swim upstream. We saw a few other small ones too.

And of course, we couldn't stay at Susan Creek Falls campground without also hiking to Susan Creek Halls. It's definitely another one that would be nicer in the Spring, but it was still pretty.

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