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Trip Report    

CHS 1 Hike - Deception Creek

This quiet trail along Deception Creek has challenging tread with varied environs.

  • Road rough but passable
  • The forest road to the trailhead has a couple sections of deep potholes. Thankfully the road to the trailhead is fairly short.

    Much of the trail is heavily rooted and bouldery, leading to more careful footwork and slower paces. This is not a great hike for trying to condition at faster speeds. There are also several sections through streams and wet area flanked with Devil's Club.

    There was no snow on the trail (we turned around at the 4.8 mile mark) but plenty of water and mud. We definitely hit our mud quota for the month on this trail. I suspect 20-25% of the route was navigating through mud or water.

We arrived at the trailhead before 8:30 AM and shared trailhead parking with two other cars. There is limited space for cars so an early start was good for us. The trail itself was more challenging than expected: difficult tread, significant sections of mud, and unexpected elevation gain. The WTA description says the elevation gain is 1,200 ft but this is high point minus low point. The trail itself is a dragontail so the total elevation gain was actually 1,800 ft over the 9.65 miles we covered.

The creek was running high. A couple sections along the trail had great views of raging cascades. Beautiful and powerful! Mosquitoes were out but not too bad. We kept moving enough that repellant wasn't needed.

There are a few sections through lightly forested areas full of low ground cover which were simply magical. There were also several sections flanked with Devil's Club so be careful!

There are two bridges to cross. The first one is in the first mile of the trail. The second, further up, has a damaged handrail. The other handrail is intact but for the queasy, it's a slow crossing.

At around 4.75 miles, we found a nice talus field overlooking the creek to lunch and sun ourselves like marmots.

We had great weather. Comfortable, not too cold or warm, partly sunny, low humidity. It didn't start raining until we were back at our cars and driving home. Perfect timing!

Overall stats: 9.65 miles; 1,800 ft t.e.g.