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Plaza Creek Trail 5/30/2015
BrianEdwards
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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

Tumalas.jpg

Tums.jpg

A shot showing the lower 250 ft

Tumala_Lowers.jpg

Orchid_Tums.jpg

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

Tumala_low.jpg

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

Talus_Tum.jpg

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

Cliff_1.jpg

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.

5.jpg

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. 

Therm.jpg

Therm1.jpg

Other debris

Junk.jpgjunk1.jpgOuthouse.jpgSpool.jpg

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

Springs.jpgSpringss.jpg

then we departed down the old Plaza Creek Trail.

Sign.jpg

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.

Creek_Crossing.jpg

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.

Talus.jpg

Trail_1.jpgTrail_2.jpg

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

Rock_Outcrop.jpg

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.

Lower_Plazas.jpg

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.

Upper_Plaza_2s.jpgUpper_Plazas.jpg

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

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Donovan
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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

BrianEdwards
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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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