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Hiking through History by Teresa Burton

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Falls Creek, Riverbank, and Red Creek Fir Trails
Map of Trails (resolution 1540x942x96dpi - 70,029 bytes)

Falls Creek Round Trip 400 meters - Allow 15 minutes
Riverbank Round Trip 400 meters - Allow 30 minutes
Red Creek Fir Round Trip 600 meters - Allow 40 minutes

An appropriate way to see Canada's largest Douglas Fir tree, the Red Creek Fir, is to break up the long drive (about 1.5 hours each way) with a couple of short hikes. The first hike at Falls Creek takes just five minutes to reach the canyon where the waterfalls are. This is an easy trail which has two creeks to ford. Usually the creeks are ankle deep during the dryer weather from spring until fall. Sometimes they appear completely dry, but the falls will still be there. The canyon walls are mostly of green slate with an array of maidenhair fern dangling from them. The gravel bar below the falls provides an ideal picnic spot, especially when the sun is high at Zenith and the sunshine makes its way into the canyon.

The second trail leads you to a large riverbank on the San Juan River. The gradual downhill trail is within an older second growth Western hemlock forest thought to have been logged by the pioneer Kirkpatrick brothers. Their cabin was located some 50 meters west of the trail from approximately where you see the first couple of large spruce trees. This hemlock forest is impressive for its height at yet an early age. The tall trees and small shrubs allow a splendid view far into the forest. The riverbank itself is a large enough area for exploring; it's also ideal for picnicking and sun bathing. You may meet up with some canoes coming here from Fairy Lake.

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