Saturday, April 14, 2012

Taylor Creek

Spring is here, hooray hooray!  Of course, there is plenty of snow in the higher elevations denying us the privilege of visiting, but we do get to nibble at the mountains by judicious selection of low elevation hikes, particularly in the Siskiyou Mountains where it is drier.  Taylor Creek fit the bill and I invited my hiking friends to enjoy springtime in the Siskiyous several weeks ago.

Trail through the poison oak and brush
Taylor Creek is a small creek that has carved a big canyon, and the first half mile or so of the trail drops down to the bottom of the canyon. It's nice to start a hike by hiking downhill but it's plain wrong to have to hike uphill to the car. Oh, well. At any rate, the steep descent to the canyon through the oak, madrone, and poison oak brought us to English Flat.

Lois, crossing the English Flat homestead
English Flat is the site of an old homestead and is now a grassy meadow with an apple orchard gone feral. There were some daffodils in bloom and I always wonder if they are descended from the original homestead garden or randomly dropped from above in a clot of crow crap.

Cross Taylor Creek on the bouncing bridge!
The first crossing of Taylor Creek happens just after English Flat on a rickety log bridge that bucked and swayed as we crossed. Then, after all that downhill, the trail climbed steeply away from the creek through a forest of trees covered with moss. Down. Up. The trail spends a lot of time doing the up-and-down thing and is rarely level and I began to hear muttered grumblings in the ranks.

The only other time I had hiked this trail was 2 years ago and there were a couple of bridges that were on their last legs. Actually, they were closed but I went across them anyway as the rotten wood creaked and swayed under my tread. On this day, the bridge crossing Minnow Creek was gone but there was a fallen log spanning the creek.

Taylor Creek
It must be some genetic predisposition from the x-chromosome crowd, but none of the women in our bunch attempted the log crossing. The cheap shot would be to conclude that the reluctance to cross on a log is yet another demonstration that women are inherently unbalanced, but let's just say that it became a man-hike after Minnow Creek.

xy-chromosome types
We only made it 3/4 of a mile further because the second dubious bridge was no longer spanning a much larger Taylor Creek.  Eschewing a wet ford, we 6 man-types sat down and ate lunch.  We did cheat on the way back, however, by walking on the Briggs Valley Road a bit to bypass the Minnow Creek log crossing, proving that we men are unbalanced when it suits us.

Vulcan John sends greetings
Visiting the homestead site
On the way back, Ray and I left the trail for a bit to explore the homestead site at English Meadows before tackling the steep uphill pitch to the car.  All in all, it was a beautiful spring hike in the Siskiyous, the hiking will get better and better from here on in.  



  1. Sunshine and blue skies; wow

  2. Snow denying you access? Just get an ice axe and crampons!