Theresa was just in awe of the falls and agreed that a little more exploration was in order. Early Friday we headed up to National Forest Road 2621. Spring can be a tricky time in regards to weather here in the Pacific Northwest. We can have all four seasons in one day, but it was looking promising with a bright sunny sky.
As we traveled up the road, we became aware of chainsaws and soon spotted a crew clearing some land for some project. Apparently NF-2621 cuts across some private property and this was our closest access to the head of the falls. Someone on the crew had a couple of Australian Shepherds that were threatening to eat the FJ Cruiser so we decide to scrub our plans for exploring in this area for the moment. Besides although the topography below the falls is fairly open the undergrowth here meant hours of bushwhacking.
Consulting our map we decide to see if we could reach the peak of Mt. Turner instead. We were hopeful that we have some spectacular views from up top. It’s still early in the season and the snow kept us from reaching the very peak but we were rewarded with multiple views of the various valleys. I have no doubt we’ll be back to do some more exploring in this area.
Jefferson Creek Falls
The following day the plan was to make another attempt on reaching the Hamma Hamma Falls. However, after stopping to show Theresa one the places we found on my previous trips we decide to make a ‘quick’ detour up to Jefferson Lake.
Getting there involves driving up a variety of NF roads starting with NF-2441. A quick warning. Although a 4×4 probably isn’t necessary you certainly want a vehicle with high clearance and a suspension in good shape. Some of the potholes are car killers!
The surprise of the day was just above the two Elk Lakes. We were crossing a small bridge when the sound of running water caught my attention. I almost missed it but I happened to see a small bit of fall on my left.
I decide to stop and back up and found on of the most picturesque falls I’ve seen. Not large, not high, but Tolkenish in appearance. One of the prettiest I’ve seen.
Unlike our my attempt to reach Hamma Hamma Falls two weeks previous, the snow was manageable and we reached our destination. It’s a short, steep hike from the roadside down to the lake but well worth it. The shades of blue are deep and varied. From what I could find online the lake will freeze over in the winter but despite the snow on the banks was free of any ice.
Theresa make her way toward the west side of the lake while I went in the other direction. Later she showed me a photo she took of some hardwood tree around a corner. This tree looked like it had been taken off the set of The Blair Witch Project! I’d like to see if it makes the same impression when it has it’s leafs.
I have feeling we’ll be coming back sooner rather than later to do more exploring in this area.