Updated: Feb 11, 2021
After being blown away by the amazing Silver Falls on our trip to the southern Oregon coast, we decided to find our way to its neighbor, Golden Falls. Again, this was another very short hike, but so wet, so muddy, and so slippery. We headed down the trail to lower Golden Falls. We did come across a few other walkers on this trail, but they were all headed back toward the trailhead.
Behold. Another bigger-than-expected waterfall!
Once we got to the bottom of the falls, we spotted what looked like a trail spur that headed up, and we (my husband) thought maybe it connected to the other trail to upper Golden Falls. So we started our way up that not-so-heavily-traveled path, digging our feet into very sloppy, muddy terrain and grabbing onto branches and roots and boulders as we ascended.
The mud was slick, the wet leaves slicker. This "trail" we are on gets continually less trail-like. While we are climbing higher up more or less along the waterfall, we're not sure where we would go from "the top" and I wasn't exactly thrilled at the thought of attempting to slide... er... climb... down the way we were struggling to climb up.
We got to a point where there didn't appear to be any more "trail" to follow, so being the adventurous guy my husband is, he elects me to make the final climb to "the top," where we can see a level area that could be (we're hoping!) the other trail. I'm bush-whacking my way through brush, trees, and really wet leaves to try and get to what looks like "the top."
When I get up there, it's kind of flat like a trail, only neither direction goes anywhere. At one end it basically drops off down to the bottom of the waterfall and the other end is obstructed by a giant moss-covered boulder and no way to get around it, although, I am pretty confident there was no trail beyond the boulder anyway.
I guess we're going to try and not to kill ourselves on the way back down, then. My fear factor is heightened. Recalling some of the steep, slippery challenges on the way up, we now have to navigate through those same areas, with gravity "on our side," without slipping or falling or getting injured in any way. Don't get me wrong, we are used to climbing up and down steep terrain on trails, but that's in high desert. It's not wet, muddy, and slick. At least my husband volunteered to trail blaze on the way down, so if I were to fall that direction, he could stop me. Maybe.
We slowly and carefully made our way through the steepest, toughest spots, gripping at anything next to us or below us that could aid in our descent (or just prevent us from slipping and falling). Aside from our hiking shoes being covered in mud and leaves, we made it out without incident, but if I'm being honest, that felt super stressful. I think I like Silver Falls better.
Let's head to some drier terrain...