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Englishman River Falls: great hike, great sites, wrong turn

Another cool morning, so we decided to check out the Englishman River Falls hike, which starts right near our campsite. It was a beautiful stroll through a stand of huge fir and hemlock trees. They were massive, straight and covered in moss. The trail was empty but for the four of us, we were able to take in the deep silence of the forest, with the sound of water rushing far in the distance. Some trees had fallen over winter and huge sections were sawed out to clear the trail. But that still left at least 50 feet of straight timber on either side of the trail. We really felt like we were walking through the tree.

The Park Ranger told us to take the left fork for an easier hike (steep descent vs steep climb) so when we found a side trailwe took a close look then went for it. After a while we started to get concerned. The trail dropped very steeply and there were more and more fallen trees blocking the path. In other words, it looked less and less like a trail the further we went. Finally we were faced with a scramble down a really steep bank. Cindy decided to check things out ahead - she made it to the river, but there was no bridge in site. So we clambered back to the main trail.

As usually happens with us, we found the real fork less than 50m further ahead, complete with concrete steps and handrails. The path took us to the lower falls, which were very nice, but the coolest part was the deep blue pool carved out of sandstone directly below the falls. It would make a great swimming hole on a hot day. Unfortunately for Robyn it was cool and drizzly but she still got in up to her ankles.

The upper falls were much more spectacular - a wide, shallow river turns sharply left, narrows and drops 50m into a tight gorge. A bridge takes you right over the drop so you can see some of the massive trunks which are jammed in the gorge. Quite specactular.