Alsea and Green Peak Falls

November 1, 2015.

5.2 mi. | 600′ ele. gain | 2:15 hr.

I decided it was about time for me to check out Alsea Falls. I’d lived in Corvallis for three years and I’d never bothered to see it. The hike always seemed too short. Well, today was my day.

Aaron and I started out in rain jackets, ready for a wet day. It was fall in the coast range, after all. It took three minutes to walk to the waterfall. It was picturesque. Water cascaded down a stair-stepped rock wall into a broad pool. Thick trees surrounded the waterfall, creating a mini-amphitheater.

But rather than call it a day right there, we forged ahead towards Green Peak Falls. Sure, we could have gotten back in the car and driven to the trailhead. But instead we decided to link the two in an out-and-back plus loop hike that ended up being around 5 miles long.

The colors in the forest were vibrant, brought to life by the layer of moisture covering everything. Ferns and mosses grew on every possible surface, while red and yellow autumn leaves plastered the trails. We walked on the squishy, slippery leaves all the way to waterfall #2. It was just as lovely as Alsea Falls. What it lacked in height, it more than made up for in ambiance. A split stream of water tumbled down a rocky ramp, where it continued to flow down Peak Creek.

From here we had to backtrack almost to the parking lot and then set off on the second half of the hike. A half-mile long trail took us to an old logging road that we followed to yet another trail. The signage was mostly not helpful. But we figured it out and continued our rainy forest adventure.

It was warm and rainy, so I was getting soaked inside my rain jacket. I decided to take it off and wear it like a cape to get some ventilation. I was still wet but it felt more comfortable. Not surprisingly, we had the trails to ourselves today. Most people won’t hike in the rain. That seems crazy though, since it rains here at least 8 months out of the year. Fortunately humans don’t melt in the rain, like the Wicked Witch of the West. So, we can still get outside and play even when there’s water falling from the sky.

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