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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2004, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Squamish, , .
Posts: 5,079
Default High Falls Creek

This is less of a trip report and more of a recommendation for those that want to start migrating from easy hikes into a little more exposed scrambling.

Shadee and I headed out this morning under cloudy skies, after meeting at Tim Horton's in Squamish. Neither of us had a camera with us, so unfortunately we can't show you the fascinating views and occasional exposure we encountered.

I was very pleasantly surprised with this hike, as right away you climb up these steep bluffs, using a chain to help yourself up if required. It was easy enough (for me with my long legs and arms) but my dog Willie had a difficult time, and at the very beginning I had to climb back down and hoist him (in his indignation) up past a tricky bit that he couldn't jump up.

The hike carried on like this for awhile, closely following High Falls creek. The trail was right on the edge of a canyon, often right on the edge, where a misstep would send you down (50m?) into the drink. There were a few more rope assisted bluffs, and some spectacular views of the canyon. Apparently, in 1994, an unfortunate woman plunged from one of these bluffs to her death in the canyon. Occasionally we would reach little plateaus that allowed views from across the valley, over the Tantalus range. Also, along the trail there were a couple viewpoints that offered excellent views of the waterfall and the gorge. I kicked myself more than once for not bringing my camera. It was very beautiful and dramatic scenery.

The trail weaved in and out of new and old forest. We noticed many mushrooms, and many beautiful and large trees.

It started to rain towards the end of the trail, and after predicting that the rain would stop ten minutes after we donned our rain gear, it did, and the sun came out. The trail ended when we came out on the logging road, and we figured it would be wise just to head down the road back to the truck, as the trail would surely be quite slippery.

So we walked easily down the logging road, and even took a shortcut down a boulder field to avoid more tedious logging road walking. What's a hike with me if it doesn't involve at least a little off-trail boulder crawling or bushwacking?

We finished the day with a fine burger and beer at the Shady Tree in Squamish, a test run for those worried about the food quality for the Nov 13 Petgill lake hike! To those worried, I say don't! It was a good burger, and of course the beer is always good.

I like to recommend this hike because it's a good opportunity for those that want to start getting a little more technical, as it does involve a small amount of scrambling. But it is not difficult - there are rope assist where one might need them, and the trail itself is pretty hard to miss. There are exposed sections on the trail, but neither Shady nor I had any difficulty or issue with them.

Elevation gain - 640m.

To get there - from Vancouver, go past Squamish and Brackendale, turn left at Squamish river road. Drive for awhile, keeping left at the road fork. At 22km, you'll come across a dam, and then shortly thereafter you will come to High Falls creek bridge. Park on the Squamish side of the bridge, and then get out and walk across the bridge. In a few metres you will come to the trailhead, heading to your right. Head up, and away you go. AFter the waterfall, you will encounter a junction, where you can go left, or straight. If you feel like a slightly longer hike, go straight, otherwise, head left. Both of these junctions will lead you to the logging road, if you want to walk down it turn left and down you go. Otherwise, turn back on the trail, and retrace your steps. Alternatively, you can go right and head up Cloudburst mountain, but that's another story and TR

This was a great hike
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 12:20 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Interest: Hiking, AT Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Biking, Climbing
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Thanks for the report. I've done this hike a bunch of times. It's quite fun. The long logging road on the way back can get tiresome though, despite its great views...so I usually just turn back the way I came.

Here are some pictures for you...since you forgot your camera:

My friend using the first chain rope.
View from one of the exposed sections.
Most people miss this one. There's a sign for this viewpoint in a fork on the trail. You have to go down a little bit and then get over this boulder to see it.
View from the logging road on the way back.

I've never tried this...but I've considered taking my bike, driving to the peak on the logging road and leaving my bike there. Then hike up and bike down the logging road. Would definitly make for a fun trip.

If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 02:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Nice little hike but NOT a good one to take a dog on:

The Mountains are calling and I must go. ~John Muir
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Squamish, , .
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Thanks for posting those photos, Cdanes. I would have taken the exact same ones!

If I were to do it again I'd definitely bring my bike up, as I prefer loops.

quote:Originally posted by cdanes

Most people miss this one. There's a sign for this viewpoint in a fork on the trail. You have to go down a little bit and then get over this boulder to see it.
We did stop and peer over the edge here, but the water is much lower than it was in your shot. Yesterday, the pool was pretty shallow, and you could see how the rock had been carved round by the water.

The only place Willie had trouble was at the very beginning, at the chain. He couldn't make it up there. Usually, when we encounter something like that I can just keep on walking and he finds his own way, joining up again with me in a a few minutes. But this time I took pity[}] Other than that, all he needed was at one point to be told what rock to jump up on. Willie is an excellent hiking dog[8D]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 10:48 AM
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Nice report BF, yeah a bike stash at the top would be handy on this hike!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 11:05 AM
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Thankyou cdanes for the photos, yes, I wouldve taken the same ones also. That viewpoint is easy to miss if you dont keep your eyes open, and other areas it is far to risky to lean over. I did wander around a bit for a better view, but this time of year the ground can be deceiving where the leaves cover up holes, and I wouldnt like to fall through and go all the way dddoooooowwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnn. (fun going down but a disappointing end I would think)

My original plans got cancelled [V], but this turned out to be a most pleasant alternative.

Thankyou Blackfly for your company, I had a lot of fun, with belly aching laughs.
And thankyou also to willie, what a great dog. Id like to see what his elevation gain would be, endless energy, he did circles around us!
And Im sure he wouldve found his own way up that first part, just his owner felt bad for him

Next time I vote for the real shortcut heading back down,(the first one we looked at [}]) [8D]
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 02:15 PM
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Location: Forest Gnome Cabin, , Canada.
Interest: Outdoor stuff...especially scrambling,trailrunning,mountain biking,kayaking,and hiking, and of course photography
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Willy does it again!Nice report,Blackfly
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 11:41 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,485

Nice TR to read...Since, I could not get out this weekend hiking with this cold, saw your post for Rainbow. Highfalls is a good hike.

Way-to-go Willie...the wonder dog!

A little grunt, a little grind, a little hike to clear the mind.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-25-2004, 09:01 AM
High on the Mountain Top
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
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Hi blackfly,

High Falls is also a technical canyon descent waiting to happen-a fairly burly, conditions-dependent one. There is actually a side spur into the bottom end that forks right just before the trail begins its ascent. Worth a look!

See the light ram through the gaps in the land-Kate Bush
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-25-2004, 04:18 PM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Port Moody, B.C., Canada.
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Great report and photos. Gotta like that shot Spidergirl, of you carrying your dog up the trail!

You can't take it with you, but who'd want to try?
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 10-25-2004, 10:02 PM
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I like this hike too - the pictures brought back memories of a very pleasant day a couple of years ago.
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