Just so you know, if you are wanting to come to California anytime soon, it is closed. A couple summers ago, I think, we were saying the same thing, but that was because of fires. Now it is floods. California does not know how to do any weather that is not extreme. Roads are currently closed all over the place due to flooding, in northern California, the Central Coast, and the Bay Area is a mess. Places in Southern California received over 8 inches of rain in ONE DAY! Mud and rock slides are closing highways frequently in the Sierra Nevada. Dams in northern California are on the brink of failure. Just stay away, if you know what is good for you. I do not. I love all this rain. I will admit though (a big admission for me), it seems that it has become a bit too much for California to handle.
Nonetheless, I will keep on hiking no matter what. But the goal is always to stay safe. I drove up to Foresthill, in search of a brand new waterfall. The dirt road I was driving on was surprisingly good, no mud, the grade was very good, wide, and flat. I thought I would make my destination easily. Then the road started to go up hill and got a bit narrower, and I came upon a massive road blowout. A huge tree had collapsed from below the road, and had fallen across the road, completely obliterating it from existence. The hillside below the road had collapsed, knocking out a number of trees. Even if there was no tree blocking the road, there would be no driving around this disaster. I just don’t understand why there had been no signs way back at the beginning, saying that the road was closed. It was a lot of wasted driving effort. So back to Foresthill I went. What should I do now?
I decided to go to Colfax and back to Stevens Creek Falls. I had been wanting to go back here because I still needed a good photo of the lower section of this falls. And I still do. It is an easy hike, and I made good time to the waterfall viewpoint. The creek was flowing more than I have ever seen it before, as I suspected it would be. I took some photos of the waterfall, then continued on to the creek crossing. Umm … nope. The trail crosses the creek at the brink of the lower falls. Under normal circumstances, ie. whenever I have been here before, it is no trouble to cross the creek. It was extremely dangerous to cross today. There was absolutely no possible way to cross. Unless you wanted to slide off the waterfall.
I tried to go down to the bottom on this side of the creek, but I could not get down all the way to the bottom, it was too sketchy, and I could not find any viewpoints. All I did find down there was poison oak. I did not find any ticks, however. Whenever I have been here before, I have always seen ticks. All this winter, I have only seen one tick in total. The last few years, they have been out months before now. Maybe they all died in the floods. One can only hope.
After trying to get to the bottom, I went up to the upper section, through all the poison oak, and found a pretty nice viewpoint of this section (shown above). I never braved going through the prickly brush and oak before to get to this spot, but today I did. It was very sweet. As for the bottom section, it occurred to me after I got home that I actually perhaps could have gotten down to it. I was not thinking clearly, and this other possible route did not even occur to me until after I got home. Argh. Now I’m going to have to go back. Someday.