Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers
The trail is open year-round but may be snow covered between November and May. During the winter, it's a nordic trail. As of late 2018, it needed maintenance (brush and some fallen trees) from about 1.0 mile above the Union Creek Resort to about a 1.5 miles below Union Creek Falls. It's passable in between but slow going. The Forest Service has now made it a priority for maintenance; hopefully that will happen in 2019.
Need to Know
Parking for the lower trailhead is at the Union Creek Rest Area on the west side of Highway 62. There is ample parking and flush toilets. Meals (and homemade pie) can be obtained at nearby Beckie's Cafe and lodging is available at the Union Creek Resort. The lower trailhead itself is behind Cabin #21 at the resort on the east side of Highway 62. The upper trailhead is on Forest Road #610, about 0.5 miles south of its junction with Highway 62. That junction is about 2.0 miles east of the junction of Highways 62 and 230.
The lower trailhead is behind Cabin #21 at the Union Creek Resort. From there, the trail follows along the creek through old-growth forest for 0.85 miles to a gravel road and large bridge. This is one of the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) roads that are prevalent in this area. The #1035 continues straight ahead past the bridge, staying close to the creek.
At 2.4 miles from the trailhead, you reach a junction with the Old-Growth Trail, a nordic trail that you can use to make a short loop back to the lower trailhead. The #1035 continues on east along the creek, passing "Eight Foot Falls" (where the creek pours through a narrow cleft in the basalt rock) at about 4.0 miles, and reaching Union Creek Falls some 4.4 miles from the trailhead.
Union Creek Falls is actually a series of cascades, with a 10-foot high one being closest to the trail. But you can explore a little upstream on a use trail to see even more cascades and plunge pools.
From the falls, the trail ascends, in 0.3 miles, to the upper trailhead on Forest Road #610.
As noted above, the trail currently needs maintenance in its middle section. This section is still passable but requires some effort. But you can see some nice sections of the creek, and many old-growth trees, in just the first mile in from the lower trailhead. Or, from the upper trailhead, it's less than a mile to Union Creek Falls and "Eight Foot Falls." These beginning and ending miles are presently clear and easy to run.
Flora & Fauna
Superb examples of huge old-growth Douglas-fir year-round and an abundance of flowering herbs and shrubs appear in season.
Shared By: Bruce Hope