Wood Camp Waterfall, 4 June, 2017
10 hikers braved the bushwhack to the Wood Camp Waterfall under sunny skies with comfortable temperatures and calm winds.
After following the Old Juniper Trail for 1/2 mile we crossed the normally dry streambed that drains the west fork of Wood Camp Hollow and turned left on a side trail. We climbed steadily up Wood Camp Hollow on the old trail, passing through fields of sagebrush. After about half a mile we started seeing broken trees from an avalanche this past winter. The main waterfall was clearly visible a mile away and a slightly smaller waterfall could be seen to the west.
We knew from experience that the trail would fade away, forcing us to fight our way through thick brush, so after about a mile we left the old trail to hike up the ravine instead. The ravine route had challenges of water crossings, loose rocks, and steep hillsides that threatened to slump into the icy torrent, but at least there was less brush. After a while the ravine bottom was filled with packed snow, which made for better walking as long as we avoided thin snow bridges over the stream.
Eventually we reached the base of the waterfall. Stephanie and Travis climbed to the top of the waterfall while the other hikers took a "lunch" break at the edge of the snow. After about a half hour we headed back down the snow, which in places was pink with algae ("watermelon snow"). The snowfield was steep enough that some hikers were able to do a little glissading as they descended.
The hike was tough in places, but we arrived back at the trailhead at 12:45. We saw many butterflies: swallowtail, mourning cloak, painted lady, California tortoiseshell, little blues, and orange spot. Bitterbrush was in full bloom, there were lots of larkspur and mountain dandelion, and we spotted a few leopard lilies (thanks Stephanie).
Thanks to Dave P. for the narrative, Jane, Dave W. and Dave P. for photos, and Dave W. for the GPS work.