This was a wonderful hike! You'll have to take a somewhat secluded, beat up road to get to the trailhead. Heading down the mountain consisted of beautiful, fairytale like scenery with old trees, wildlife, mushrooms, and clovers everywhere! At the bottom, you will reach a creek full of snails and crawdads. We had a lot of fun hanging out down there for a few hours. Bit of a steep hike back up, but worth every step!
Definitely "lightly trafficked". When I got there, there was a man leaving. Then I had the trail to myself until I was on my way back out some people were hiking in. The forest views were lovely with lots of huge trees. The path is clear. Do not forget to bring bug repellent. Lots of flying bugs and a ton of spider webs in the trail. When you get to the creek there does not appear to be a good access point. My pup and I slid down a hill with loose dirt but the "bank" was no bigger than 2 ft in width. My dog enjoyed playing in the water and definitely needed to cool off. Also this is not a trail to take horses on.
Path is wonderful. No issues. Can see that a big tree had just been recently cleared. Thank you whoever you are for doing that. The way back up was pretty tough for a new hiker. But we made it back up in an hours time. The trillium were in full bloom. Very nice hike. Next time may hike in to camp for the weekend.
We just did this hike for the second time. Except for a few extraordinary giant firs there is not too much in the way of views until you get to the creek. The creek is a great spot to hang out and poke around for crawfish. There are several really nice campsites along the creek side. Perfect places for pitching your tent and people have placed log seating around some big rock fire pits. Though I don't think these pits would qualify as sanctioned fire pits during fire closures. We saw a couple family groups with kids abotu 10ish hiking back up with backpacks so kids can do this too. It is a pretty stiff climb back up out though.
Harris Ranch Trail is a nice hike in, a steep hike out, but this is the feature of all three Drift Creek Trails. There are generally nice camping areas creekside at the end of this trail. I first hiked by the site way back in the 1950s when the Harris Ranch house was still nice and upright on the south bank. The trail can be a bit muddy during wet weather. Some folks hike in and fish for sea-run cutthroat trout and chinook salmon. It's a long hike out with a couple of chinook salmon. Both bicycles and stock are prohibited in the Drift Creek Wilderness Area (NO HORSES).
One of my favorite hikes! We used to hike with packgoats here at Drift Creek Wilderness back when it was just the end of an old logging road. The trail runs the length of a ridge down to the valley floor. The hike was always overgrown with salmon berries that we're up to 10' high in places. Very neat!
Once you get to the bottom, there is a trail that crosses the river and heads up the other side of the valley.
There are no waterfalls, like the one in the picture, but thousands of crawfish and cutthroat trout.
If you bushwhacked around the area, you would find old model "T" type cars out on old overgrown log roadbeds.
The hike is nice and quiet. Not much use. Great little creek at the end. But from the parking lot this is a 8.8 mile round tripper per map my hike. Also it starts at about 2000' and goes to about 500' at the creek. Really enjoyed the peacefulness. Trail was a little overgrown in spots but that was part of the charm.