A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

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Rustygoat
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A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

Post by Rustygoat » March 19th, 2014, 9:49 am

Melinda and I got the chance to take her niece and nephew out for an afternoon hike the other day. No rain, no crowds we headed out to go see Upper McCord and Elowah Falls last Friday afternoon. Only a few cars at the trail head. The kids were pretty pumped...this was their first trip here. The trail was in great shape and the best part was we didn't have to share it with anyone. We did pass a couple when we got to the upper fall but other than that we saw no one. Melinda's niece and nephew were really impressed with the view on the approach to the upper fall. They spotted Beacon Rock across the Columbia.
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The cliff trail is definitely a hit with the kids.
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We ran across a couple of small piles of snow just before Upper McCord Falls and a snow fight broke out. The kids got in some good shots and ran ahead in fear of retaliation. Smart kids. :lol:
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Melinda and the kids hiked over to top of the falls to explore while I grabbed a few pictures of the falls. Melinda found some spring flowers starting to show.
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Upper McCord Falls
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Once we got back to the trail junction I asked the kids if they were ready to go home....they said no. Like I said, smart kids. They were really enjoying the hike. On our way to Elowah Falls we stopped to check out the old viewpoint. The view must have been really neat from here, back when there were no trees. You can catch a glimpse through the trees of what the view used to be.
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I have been here countless times but I have never checked out the old viewpoint from up on the big rock on the east side of the creek.
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The falls were flowing good and the spray was pretty heavy. We got a good soaking making our way over to the rock.
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There is some old railing up on the rock and a really neat view of the falls too. Hmm....why haven't I checked this out before?
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The rock viewpoint was a great place for a snack break while Melinda and I took pictures. We were just going to head back down but I noticed an old trail that used to go to the rock. We decided to follow it and see where it went. The old trail was pretty easy to follow and led up to another neat viewpoint. Melinda and her niece and nephew were having a good time. :D
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Elowah Falls
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The old trail was in pretty good shape and eventually met up with the main trail. Heading back to the car the kids were practically running , they had a great outing. I think next time Melinda and I are going to have to take those kids on a harder hike. :lol:
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Tim

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sprengers4jc
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Re: A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

Post by sprengers4jc » March 19th, 2014, 10:20 am

Such a great little hike! I won't ask how you got that picture facing southwest and looking up at Upper McCord Creek Falls :lol: . Give it another month, and this hike is one of the best and most overlooked wildflower hikes in the Gorge. Here are just some of the flowers we saw on our hike on April 24 last year: the rare and elusive columbia kittentails, saxifrage, paintbrush, fairy slippers, bleeding hearts, western cordalyis, heliotrope, larkspur, etc.
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BrianEdwards
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Re: A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

Post by BrianEdwards » March 19th, 2014, 10:28 am

Nice guys, I've been on top of that rock, pretty cool. Did u guys hike on around to I84, and cross the new bridge on your way back?
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Rustygoat
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Re: A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

Post by Rustygoat » March 22nd, 2014, 5:25 am

sprengers4jc wrote:Such a great little hike! I won't ask how you got that picture facing southwest and looking up at Upper McCord Creek Falls :lol: . Give it another month, and this hike is one of the best and most overlooked wildflower hikes in the Gorge. Here are just some of the flowers we saw on our hike on April 24 last year: the rare and elusive columbia kittentails, saxifrage, paintbrush, fairy slippers, bleeding hearts, western cordalyis, heliotrope, larkspur, etc.
I only had to lean off the trail a little bit to get that angle. :lol: Thanks for tip on the coming flowers, sounds like a good reason to revisit soon. :)
BrianEdwards wrote:Nice guys, I've been on top of that rock, pretty cool. Did u guys hike on around to I84, and cross the new bridge on your way back?
I didn't even think about doing a loop Brian. I forgot that the new bridge and trail were even there. :roll: Of the many times I've been to Elowah Falls, this was my first time on the rock. It was kinda of like seeing the fall for the first time again. Definitely doing the loop idea next time I head out there, thanks for the idea Brian. :)
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Badknee
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Re: A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

Post by Badknee » March 22nd, 2014, 12:51 pm

Great report Tim. Glad you got that "alternate view" of Upper McCord. I've done that a few times and even crossed and gotten right up to the base. I was never one for the traditional view from the trail. Another "alternate view" is the base of Triple Falls on Oneonta Creek. Probably best during lower water levels, but another fantastic up close look at what you don't see from the trail.
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CuriousGorgeGuide
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Re: A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

Post by CuriousGorgeGuide » March 24th, 2014, 10:36 am

Yay for the new loop option....cheers for the shout-out Brian. It'll definitely be in my next edition. That little "alternate" route from the rock viewpoint is pretty neat. It seems to me the "original" or CCC-improved trail from the former falls-access point from the east side of the HCRH McCord Creek bridge. Old "original" side-wall rock masonry along that trail. Super neat to me! Some trail-gnome seems to have "unearthed" it in just the past year or so. Glad she/he did...I love it, kinda like the Necktie Falls spur above Wahkeena Falls.
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Lekilei253
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Re: A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

Post by Lekilei253 » April 19th, 2014, 4:19 pm

Great report! I went out there and checked out the old trail, way cool!! Then did the loop Brian suggested! Next time I think I'd start along the highway instead of ending there.

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Re: A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

Post by Bethymetry » May 27th, 2014, 6:50 pm

I know this is a long shot, but I lost a Nikon coolpix digital camera somewhere between McCord and Elowah Falls (or on the trail to both of them) on May 20. It's most likely in a small beige and black case. If you found it, please let me know! It has pictures of the falls, as well as of previous trips to the Sierras.

Aside from the tragedy of a lost camera, the falls were beautiful and the trails were in great condition.

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AFLitt
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Re: A different view of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls

Post by AFLitt » May 31st, 2014, 8:08 am

CuriousGorgeGuide wrote:It seems to me the "original" or CCC-improved trail from the former falls-access point from the east side of the HCRH McCord Creek bridge. Old "original" side-wall rock masonry along that trail. Super neat to me! Some trail-gnome seems to have "unearthed" it in just the past year or so. !
I've been looking for this and still haven't found it. Until now it was in the "I know it has to be there" category, but this is the first true confirmation I've had that it still exists. Maybe tomorrow I'll go take a closer look and hit the upper falls too, still haven't gotten around to that.

The new loop is a nice little hike, too. Did that for the first time recently and it was a nice, quick afternoon stroll. We were mainly wanting to check out the old mystery picnic tables up there, which, to me, look like they may have been put in as a camp site when they were building the #400 trail to encourage backpacking.
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