Willow Creek Trail

MODERATE 7 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Willow Creek Trail is a 5.3 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.

5.3 miles
1381 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly



nature trips





wild flowers

1 month ago

My boyfriend and I took our first backpacking trip on this trail, and it was great for our first time. Not too long and a little elevation change was a good challenge. There were a lot of downed trees on the trail and a little difficult to climb over/under with my pack, but it was good practice. we kept our dogs off leash the whole time and never really saw anyone else. We camped at the site with the picnic table, and it was a gorgeous little spot with big redwoods anchoring the site. One piece of advice, when the trail splits and you have to choose to go up or go down, my advice is to go up. We went down and couldn't figure out how to continue along the creek after we went down. There were so many large rocks and downed trees along the creek, it was too difficult to maneuver with our packs and short legged dog friends were having trouble.

9 months 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.

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.

2 months ago

recorded Willow Creek Trail

2 months ago

3 months ago

Friday, March 17, 2017