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Plaza Creek Trail 5/30/2015

Trail Maintenance
05/30/2015 - 9:44 pm
Member Since: 03/17/2010
Forum Posts: 319
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Headed down the abandoned Plaza Creek Trail today. The ultimate goal was to document and photograph several waterfalls on the scenic Plaza Creek. 

Before we did Plaza, we stopped just past Tumala Meadows and bailed off the cliff-laden hill to see what Tumala Cascades was all about. This was not for the faint of heart, as the earth loses over a thousand feet of elevation very rapidly, with a 300 ft cliff to skirt around. The Cascades ended up being more waterfally then we expected, with a 250+ ft continuous drop at the bottom. 

Some of the falls along the creek



A shot showing the lower 250 ft



We continued down Tumala Creek past the falls to the open talus slope below, and got a good view of the roaring river canyon


We could see that there were no more waterfalls below, so we turned and headed up.


Climbing out of that cliff laden canyon 700 ft straight up was a legitimate test of wills!


once we finally reached the truck, we headed to Twin Springs campground. Upon arrival, we pulled down into the campground to spot 5 and parked.


As I got out of the truck, I spied a very corroded coin in the dirt. It ended up being a 1959 penny. 

An old thermos was in the bushes too. 



Other debris


We scoped out the spring before heading down. A neat spot.


then we departed down the old Plaza Creek Trail.


The tread was in nice shape for the first thousand linear feet, down to the first creek crossing.

Here's the crossing with faint trail on the other side.


Starting on the other side of the creek, the trail got infinitely fainter. It disappeared in places, but there were flags that generally kept us on the tread. It passes a massive talus slope.



We ended up taking the trail all the way down into the canyon, within sight of the creek. For those of you that have hiked this ancient trail, the climb up from Plaza Creek back up was a bear! Oh my it sucked. One thing was there was almost no blowdown on the trail. Nothing freshly cut, just no blowdown. There's a cool rock formation towards the top of that brutal climb


About halfway back up, we cut back down to the creek to scope out a pair of waterfalls that show up on some aerial images. 

The lower falls was an instant fave for its deep pool and beautiful gentle sloping rocky character. I was feelin pretty beat up, but getting to see this falls reminded me of why I come down into these canyons.


we headed up around the cliff, and then upstream. We bypassed a 20 foot falls on the cliffed out creek to get to the upper 45 ft falls.


They were also peaceful to take in. Quietly flowing over the bedrock into a small log pool. 

Beautiful creek. 

After this, we made our way back up to the trail, and headed back to the truck. After we got back, two of our group still had energy to head up the Old Baldy trail to the ranger station remains, but I only hiked a few hundred feet up the trail before stopping for the day.

All in all a great day out. The climb out of Plaza way down by the river was a butt-kicker, but we were happy to have a trail to follow. Total of four of us putting boots on it. 

Thanks for looking

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
07/01/2015 - 9:57 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 714
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What a great post!

Almost like being there, but easier.


D 2


Trail Maintenance
07/01/2015 - 10:12 pm
Member Since: 03/17/2010
Forum Posts: 319
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Thanks, Don

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