Three Corners and Rock Creek

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Owl-Eyes
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Three Corners and Rock Creek

Post by Owl-Eyes » February 8th, 2015, 6:42 pm

Greetings! (wow, I sound like an alien)
Went "hiking" on Rock Creek today. There were tons of side falls flowing into Rock Creek from all the rainfall, we saw at least a dozen. Passed by Steep Creek Falls and Heaven and Hell Falls. Both had substantial amounts of water. Going to Three Corner Falls, we were very excited to see these falls. We thought we should try making our way down to the side of the creek quickly. After spending the minutes getting to creek level we realized that we made a mistake. The creek was very high and flowing fast, there was no way to follow it up without getting very wet. To get back to high ground involved hacking through thick Devil's club and climbing over thick tree stumps and trunks (also covered in Devil's club :cry: ). The operation took a long time but we made it back to high ground. We saw a boot path once we were there, and the going got a lot easier. We tried going towards the creek again, but turned around when we saw that we would end up in the same situation. After a while, the creek split and we could see the lower falls through the trees. We also saw this little guy :)
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Salamander!
We made our way up the West side of the creek to the falls.
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Lower Three Corner Falls
Just upstream from the lower falls was the middle falls.
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Middle Three Corner Falls
The middle falls is where we first started noticing that there were small piles of burnt wood and that most of the tall trees had basically been blown up. There must be a lot of lightning strikes in the area. To get to the upper falls we backtracked a little bit and went uphill a little more. Once we were above the middle falls, we followed the creek a very short ways (the falls could be seen through the trees). Upper Three Corner Falls is truly amazing, it was well worth the effort getting there.
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Upper Three Corner Falls
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Left half of the falls
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Right half of the falls
At the falls, near the base(s), there were some cool coloured rocks. We picked a couple up to get a better look at them, and that's when we discovered that there were salamanders everywhere under the rocks. They were a lighter colour than the salamander above, and they varied in size, but were about the same size as the above salamander. Hopefully they weren't one of the Gorge's endemic species and that we didn't ruin their homes; we decided to be careful from there on out. What do you think about the salamanders? I'm not an expert when it comes to them, but I don't want to disrupt them if they're endemic, and I don't think many people have been here.
Short cut that we may have found (we could see no boot trails or human disruption in the plants). When you turn onto the gravel road, follow it until there is a side road on the left, which is blocked by stacked trees. Follow the road on foot a short ways. There should be a big pile of wood almost instantly. If you continue South (downhill) from that pile, you'll end up at the split in the creeks with the lower falls in sight. I don't know if anyone else has done this, it didn't look like it. It cut about 40 minutes out of our trip back.
After driving back down, we decided to check out the falls on lower Rock Creek since the water levels were so high. We cut through the Iman Cemetery (respecting the dead of course) and out the back gate to Rock Creek Falls. Wow. This falls was huge.
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Rock Creek Falls
From there we back to the road and down to Lower Rock Creek Falls. Holy cow! Last time we were here there was a lot of water going over this falls, but today the volume was huge! A very very powerful waterfall.
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Lower Rock Creek Falls
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At the end we were both sore and tired and scratched up, but we felt better after some peanut butter and honey sandwiches!

mandrake
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Re: Three Corners and Rock Creek

Post by mandrake » February 8th, 2015, 9:46 pm

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Last edited by mandrake on May 25th, 2017, 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Owl-Eyes
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Re: Three Corners and Rock Creek

Post by Owl-Eyes » February 8th, 2015, 10:05 pm

Wow! That's a really cool picture! That's cool how the water carved the rock. No, we didn't have any problems with people, though we tried to be quiet. When we went a few weeks ago there was a man feeding a burn pile and he was pretty nice. We didn't see any signs anywhere concerning the falls/it's visitors. There were some signs at the cemetery which told some interesting stories about the early settlers.

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Rustygoat
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Re: Three Corners and Rock Creek

Post by Rustygoat » February 18th, 2015, 2:24 pm

Good job getting to the upper falls Owl-Eyes! This has been a favorite since my first trip up there in 2013. As Mandrake shared in his reply there are some neat groves at the base of that middle fall. It is worth it to see the area when everything is in bloom at a lower flow...plan an early summer trip. ;) Thanks for sharing your adventures :)
Tim

Chasing waterfalls can be addictive.
NW Off-trail Waterfalls -Facebook Group

edwardmckim
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Joined: June 27th, 2019, 1:30 am

Re: Three Corners and Rock Creek

Post by edwardmckim » June 27th, 2019, 1:41 am

Breathtaking experience hiking that way! Those side falls are still in my memory and I feel sad I have no idea if I get a chance to come back there one day...
Last edited by Aimless on June 27th, 2019, 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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