As I have stated, on more than one occasion, it rains quite a bit in Oregon during this time of year. But the second to the last week of January had the sun peeking through for more than a few moments. It actually returned like it belonged here. So, Mama Nomad and I hiked Spencer Butte one day and then on the weekend, the entire family hiked the Brice Creek area.
Brice Creek runs along in the Umpqua Forest within Lane County. There are many waterfalls and trailheads. What it lacks is mobile phone signal. Complete and total communications blackout. I’ll get back to why this factored into our adventure later.
We drove west, outside of Cottage Grove, Oregon to arrive at the Cedar Creek Trailhead on Brice Creek. The day had some sunshine and little to no cloud cover; it was a great day to hike. We arrived and parked. Just off of the parking area was a wooden foot bridge that connected the parking area to the hiking trail, located on the other side of Brice Creek.
The trailhead split, going 2 different directions. We chose to go to the right, which was towards the most waterfalls. However, the distance going in one direction was 4+ miles. It was around 2:45pm to 3pm. We do not want to be on a trail in Oregon, in January, past 4:30pm because it begins to get dark. So, we decided to got 1.5 hours in one direction then come back.
We began to walk the hiking trail and it was beautiful. We stopped in many spots and went off-trail. The boys love to go off-trail and hike up river banks, jump across rocks, etc. We even stopped off and skipped rocks in one area. I know…hard to believe…the boys and I do that often. Eventually, we came to Brice Creek Falls.
The falls were not tall or especially long. However the area before and after the falls was beautiful. The area after had blue pooled water. The area before was clear rushing water and the falls area had some of the cleanest and clearest water I have seen in a fall. We spent about 20 to 30 minutes just in this area. The way the rocks were, it allowed you to get up close and personal with the falls. The boys hiked the river bank to get there. Mama Nomad and I took the trail.
One thing that was disturbing about the trail was the bridge. It had a tree that had fallen, slid down the mountainside and lodged itself into the bridge. If I was on the bridge or in the vicinity or on the bridge, startled would be an understatement in describing my demeanor.
After leaving the Brice Creek Falls area, we continued on for about another 30 minutes or so and we decided to turn back so that we would not be caught in the dark. For those of you who follow us and read our articles regularly, you will recall that when we went to the Blue Pool, we came back to the car after 5 pm and it was pitch black.
We had an enjoyable hike back and arrived at the parking area. We unloaded our gear, kicked off our boots and got back into Ebony. We were deciding on where we were going to eat dinner when a couple of guys, in a dune buggy, and their dogs approached the vehicle. We were in the middle of no where with no houses and zero signal. So, I was on alert a little bit. But, the guys were completely friendly.
The guy who owned the truck, that hauled the dune buggy in, left his keys in his girlfriend’s car. Well, his girlfriend had already left to go back home and he was stuck, unable to contact her (no mobile signal) and only had an offroad vehicle. So, they asked if we would text their friends when we got back to civilization. We agreed, took down their information and left. Once we had signal, a text was sent, confirmation received and we assume the dune buggy guys were taken care of. What a wild and fun day on Brice Creek. If you are in the area, drop in and enjoy a leisurely hike along the creek. just remember to keep your keys with you. Safe Travels.