The discovery of a new happy place, a place to reconnect with mother nature, a place to let go of the day to day stress and unplug happened so very long ago when my neighbor asked me to photograph these falls so that she could have a picture for her wall.
It is an easy hike from the parking lot in Cat Creek Recreation Area (which is currently inaccessible due to damage from the 2013 floods) we parked alongside but off the highway and made our way up the first hill climb. The trail is (nearly) do able with a stroller. At the top of the first hill is a bench which offers a great view of the mountains and the valley where the Highwood River flows. The trail wanders along over a low ridge the switchbacks down towards the creek and since the floods the two wooden foot bridges have been replaced and today they were getting a fresh coat of paint. The trail ends in front of a beautiful little waterfall gushing through a gap into a high walled rock basin. It is a touch cool with the steep canyon walls until the sun manages to peek around the trees but very beautiful and serene.
I love watching the light catch the wet rocks in the shallow water as the water flow is low in August. There was a sense of openness today as I took in the canyon view, something was definitely different but tough to put my finger on it. I was more than happy to perch my tripod in the freezing cold creek water and capture a few photos. It wasn’t until I returned home to compare images that I could see the difference. A large rock that was sitting on the shelf of the lower section of the falls has since been dislodged and likely somewhere along the canyon floor. Change is beautiful.
We enjoyed a little creek play and a delicious lunch before heading back. I really do recommend this little trek, it is 3 kilometers return from the parking lot. Definitely enjoyed right down to my youngest walker (3 years old) and the littlest bumped along in the stroller (she actually even fell asleep on our trek back). A perfect little family (or dayhome) adventure.
From Highwood Junction, the corner of Highways 40, 940 and 541, go west on Highway 40 ~6 km and turn south into Cat Creek Recreation Area. Remember this stretch of Highway 40 is closed from December 1st to June 15th every year.