Mother’s Day 2018. What is my desire? To feel the earth beneath my feet and my two favorite kids by my side. Luckily, here in the Pacific NW we have an unlimited array of locales to enjoy natures bounty. The trick is finding somewhere on a warm, sunny Sunday which is also void of crowds. With task in hand, we set out on just such a journey.
Admittedly, we had a destination in mind: Otter Falls trail in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River area. I thought all those suckers taking mom out for Sunday brunch would be a total shoe-in for a quiet Sunday hike. It seems I’m the sucker. When we drove past the Mailbox Peak trailhead, there were innumerable cars parked precariously angled on the shoulder of the road. Whew – glad to drive by that hot mess!
Following the instructions given on WTA for the Otter Falls trail, we meandered further down the road. Not noticing any marked signs, as the directions outlined, we decided to pull off the road and park in front of a gated road, which had a posted Discover Pass Required sign. I figured, “Well, who knows if this is it, but it’s a trail and it leads into a forest. Discovery awaits!”
The first 1/2 mile of the hike is on an overgrown forest service road, at a gradual incline. Eventually, when you arrive at a sharp curve in the road, there’s a river to the left marking the start of a beautiful forest trail. Unless you have incredible leaping or levitating abilities, prepare to get your feet wet. On a hot day, it ain’t half bad to have cool wet feet…..
Turns out the trail we traversed is called the CCC Trail. Along the way, we crossed many little streams, with the only elevation gain happening on the beginning forest service road portion. We made our turnaround point the larger waterfall (pictured above), and clocked out at 6 miles total, round trip. Along the way we ran into more frogs than people, so I’d say that although we did not succeed in finding Otter Falls, we did succeed in avoiding crowds! Huzzah!
Back at the car, some folks stopped asking for directions to Oxbow Lake Trail. I attempted to sell them on the CCC trail, but they opted to join the throng at Mailbox Peak. Whatevs. I wonder if seeing us ringing water out of our socks was a deterrent. I should work on my marketing skills……