Time of year: September
This is quite the hike. It can be strenuous at times on the way up. I've hiked this one a few times in the past and the cedar groves were beautiful; however, due to wildfires the beginning part of the trail can be grim because of the damage. The damage was significant enough to affect the trail as well, forcing us to backtrack occasionally for getting lost. Thankfully, closer to the lake the forest is mostly untouched. There are also a few river crossings, so prepare to get your feet wet.
We backpacked this trail, and campsites can be found along both sides of lake, some are fairly bigger than others.
The hike itself is not what makes this trail a good one, but the lake. The views from the lake are beautiful. The surrounding rock face is spectacular to look at. For those that enjoy ridge hiking, they might find this lake bit frustrating however. Simply trying to hike around the lake was difficult due to the thick foliage that was often over my head.
All and all its a good hike with some spectacular views, but the difficultly of trying to ridge hike and the damage done by the wildfire is somewhat unpleasant.
This hike goes through an old growth cedar ecosystem. It is a easy 2.8 miles to the first main creek crossing from the Ross Creek Cedars parking lot. After crossing the creek it is a short distance to the junction of trail 321 and 142.. Trail 321 heads up the south fork to the water fall. The last section is pretty steep and the tread reworked this summer. You go through a section that burned in 2015. The crew did a lot of work and a great job. I would rate the waterfall a 6 of 10. It is probably more spectacular earlier in the season. I had 4 miles on my gps to the water fall from the parking lot.
this is an awesome hike for families with youth! the huckleberry picking was huge:-)
the usual road to get there was washed out and closed. so take Trestle Creek Road until it connects back to Lightning Creek Road. the signage is great! the last two miles are very rough. I would suggest a 4 wheel drive
Todd H. on Leigh Lake
This trail was fairly strenuous despite the short distance. There appear to have been a few significant rock slides which made portions of the trail a bit treacherous and very difficult to follow, particularly on the return trip. The lake and waterfall were both spectacular and there are many berries in the area ripe for picking.
Rachel D. on Leigh Lake
Decent hike, not many campsites at the lake, pretty steep accent and trail finding made it more difficult.