“An out-and-back, mostly sun-exposed, path along Hunter Creek, featuring a waterfall.
— ambernikel Mackey
Open year-round for hikers and runners.
This fun run is a favorite amongst locals for it's easy accessibility, dramatic landscape, and beautiful waterfall destination. At six miles round-trip, it makes for a great afternoon outing.
Much of this run has little to no shade. Sunscreen recommended.
Areas of talus and rock fall are present in various areas throughout the trail but are easy to navigate (flattened well). There are two very short creek crossings, both are shallow (at most mid shin) the first with solid rocks to step across (near the start) and the second with wood logs to cross (near the turn around).
Start in a parking lot with a water fountain (including a doggy water fountain for fido!) and a bathroom with running water and a sink. There is a well-marked sign for the Hunter Creek Trailhead. Start down the hill to the first creek crossing, with solid rocks to hop across. Shortly after this, you'll see a fork, on the left the trail leads to the creek. This is the last place to access the creek for the next 2 miles. (Important if you have a dog using the creek for water.)
From here, start moving uphill, to a sun-exposed singletrack path with a rare tree for shade. Take this mostly uphill ridge line loosely following Hunter Creek for 2 miles.
There are several areas of talus or fallen rock to navigate, but they are mostly flat and fairly wide. There is one area of larger rocks to scramble for a step or two, but it is short and easy.
Around 2.5 miles, you'll slightly dip into the tree line. This is shady with a nice soft tread to travel over and is still mostly uphill. There are a few false trails, but it is pretty obvious because the main trail is well-trodden.
A second creek crossing (using logs) is located near the waterfall turning point. The creek is very shallow and easy to cross without a lot of skill but if the water is high, you might have to balance on the larger logs.
The end features a waterfall with large fallen trees to sit and rest. It is worth going to this turning point! Now just head back the way you came. The return is mostly downhill and quick.
Note: there are a lot of dogs off leash on this trail (which I personally enjoy). So if you're not a fan of dogs, this might not be the best trail for you, but if you do love furry friends, it's a great place to take your dog for a bit of exercise.
This area is a known home for rattlesnakes, mountain lions and black bears. But this is a very well traveled trail and really you only see a squirrel or lizard here or there!