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Routes in McGraw Ranch Trailhead

Bridalveil Falls T,TR WI2 PG13
West Creek Falls T,TR WI2
Type: Trad, TR, Ice, 15 ft
FA: Jim Detterline, 1997
Page Views: 729 total, 6/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Jan 25, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Description

So, did you read the Lisa Foster RMNP The Complete Hiking Guide or the Gillett RMNP High Peaks guide? Lisa has a photo (p. 148) which probably says more than I can say with all these words...dang, I wish I remembered before the walk. Maybe it was a typo? a cell phone call? In Lisa's guide, the description of this being one of the smallest named waterfalls in the park should be fair warning. At least it is a nice hike, in a less-visited part of the park. In fact, this is supposed to be in the West Creek Research Natural Area, established by the International Biological Program, where day visitors are accepted but not encouraged.

So, it's short...really short...probably 15 feet tall. Okay, that's enough for most to hit the "back" key. It's probably a better fishing spot for small greenback cutthroats, although it's catch and release.

When you finally get to the falls, you'll see the ice is thin. The pool into which the falls drop is deep and the ice covering it can be very thin to open in spots, don't fall in. You can go around the right and get to the top easily.

Oh yeah, if you think this is small, you don't want to continue further north to Fox Creek Falls. It's smaller yet.

Location

The approach is probably 2 1/2 miles, probably 1 1/4 hrs. Lisa writes that is involves 890 ft of vertical. It ascends to a ridge line (25 min) just north of the Cow Creek drainage via the North Boundary Trail, descends (30 minutes) a good, long way into the West Creek drainage, and then takes a left for a mile (20 minutes) or so, partway up where there is a sign for West Creek Falls where the North Boundary Trail goes northwest.

Protection

A screw or two or a TR (or a solo - just don't fall in). There is a good tree for an anchor just above the falls.

Dogs

Interestingly, the signs pertaining to most of the approach (which lies in Comanche Peak Wilderness Area) permit dogs on a handheld leash, but you may have to cross RMNP land to get there, and RMNP may have different regulations. The start of the approach, and probably the last 10 minutes are on RMNP land. So, check with their regulations.

Hunting

Note, there are times of the year when hunters are allowed access through this area. Check on this if it matters to you.

Photos

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