Willow Creek Trail

MODERATE 3 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Willow Creek Trail is a 5.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Gorda, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1791 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

hiking
27 days ago

Frank Kehl's review is spot on!

Here are my thoughts...

Environment: Tranquil solitude, serene, beautiful towering scenery, active stream, very enjoyable.

Direction: Immediately upon leaving HWY 1, there is a T-junction. Go left and travel about 2+ miles up the dirt road.

Parking: As you approach the coordinates of the trail, there is a convex bend in the road where you can park. We continued to the next major bend (concave), and parked there (about 3 spaces).

Trail head: We walked about 50-75 yards up the main dirt road to another dirt road on the left that T-junctions into the main dirt road. That T-junction is actually the trail head (and there are a few places to park down that dirt road before the road becomes impassable).

Trail: Initially, the trail is wide enough for a vehicle (though impassable)...until you reach a firepit. As you continue in the same direction of travel, you'll need to look for the single-file trail (it's not too hard to find). About 1/4 to 1/2 mile down the single-file trail, it splits into a low and a high trail. We took the low trail.

Shade: Redwoods and other large trees blanketed the trail with shade. Even on this hot August day the hike was a breeze. Even cooler at the creek.

Terrain: Downhill out, uphill back. So, conserve some energy for the return. An average person should be able to do this hike.

Creek: As you near the creek, the trail apprears impassable due to a large hollowed tree with tall flora growing in it. Simply part the flora and continue down the embankment. Was pleasanly suprised to see brook trout in the pools of water. Yes, flowing water in late August.

Dogs: Our canine family members enjoyed being off-leash...though I kept their electronic collars on. We did not encounter a single soul on the trail.

Poison Oak: Yes, sporatically on or near the trail. My friend is highly allergic. She initially covered exposed body parts with an aloe vera gel (to serve as a barrier). If she suspected contact, she then cleaned any body parts with rubbing alcohol, then water. Result one day later, no symptoms.

Bottom-line: Everything I expected, can hardly wait to go back and try the high trail.

Go...you will not be dissapointed.

6 months ago

hiking
Friday, December 11, 2015

Willow Creek Trail is a hidden gem in the Silver Peak Wilderness. Although the trailhead is only about 2.5 miles from Highway 1, it sees very light use. The trailhead is unsigned and there are currently no signs along the trail, either. Drive about 2.3 miles up the unpaved Los Burros Road near Treebones Resort and park about 50 yards before the start of the trail. The trail starts out as an abandoned road, and it's possible to drive about 1/2 mile down this road for a slightly shorter hike. The road then becomes impassable for vehicles, and eventually transitions to a single-track hiking path at the boundary of the Silver Peak Wilderness. The trail descends through mixed redwood groves on the south side of Willow Creek. A narrow side path just above the creek leads down to the site of an old swinging bridge. The bridge has been removed, and we could find no sign of it on our hike. The main trail continues upstream a short distance to reach two campsites along Willow Creek. The first site is in a small clearing and has a grill and fire pit. The second site, a few minutes' walk farther up the trail, is larger and has a dilapidated picnic table, a grill, and a fire pit. The trail continues beyond the second camp, but soon becomes impassable. This is a very beautiful area, and you'll probably have it all to yourself.