Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ford Canyon To Ricks Creek Falls

When I found the information for Ford Canyon through the Centerville City Trail Map I thought it might be one of those neighborhood connector trails, like Haight Creek. However I knew Ricks Creek Falls were above and I hoped that maybe I could figure out how to get to it from this trail so I thought I would give it a try. Worst case scenario, it’s a dud. The trail started out pretty well, disappointing. Through the middle of a neighborhood, but very quickly that changed. After a minute this trail, in a completely unexpected surprise, takes you to 3 waterfalls, each more spectacular than the last, and it’s less than a mile!

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Ricks Creek Falls.

Quick Details:

Length: .85 miles to the final falls. Which can be shortened to .65 miles
Difficulty: DR4. While short, there are definitely some steep sketchy parts.
Elevation Gain: 511 ft. Not too bad.
Restroom: No, however the lower trailhead sits above a community park that might have one.
Dogs? Yes! Please clean up after your furry friend.

To get here: There are 2 trail heads. As I thought it was a connector trail I thought one was at the top, and the other was at the bottom. I was wrong. The lower trail does not add anything significant to the trail and knowing this now, I would say don’t bother to add the 2/10 of a mile or 4/10 round trip.

That said, the upper trail head is located at 1575 North Ford Canyon Crossing. Take the Parrish Lane exit (319) east to Main St. turn left. Turn right on Carrington Ln. Turn left on Ford Canyon Rd. Turn left on ford Canyon Crossing. There is no parking lot but the trailhead is on the right and there is street side parking. It also appears to be more obvious than the lower trailhead.


We missed the lower trail head, but that did allow us to find this extra little waterfall.


The lower trailhead. Looks like a private driveway, but apparently is not. If you decide to use this trail head at about 1500 S Main st, keep your eyes peeled for this little sign, we missed it and had to turn around.


Looking up canyon. As you can see there are houses on both sides. Grr. This trail may have been a mistake.


The rock lined path next to Ricks Creek. It’s weird the creek has a different name than the canyon.

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Terrible photo but we got to see a Bald Eagle flying above.


For a minute, I thought that was the end of the trail and was really disappointed. But then I saw the trailhead on the other side. This is definitely a more advanced trailhead that actually has trail info. Again, you really wont miss much by skipping the extra .2 of a mile on the lower trail.


Trailhead sign. .4 miles That’s nothin.


Okay, starting to feel more trail like, and I found the snow!


The creek again.


1 of 2 bridges that can make this a shorter loop trail if you desire.


Looking down canyon.


This is more of a gulley than a canyon.


A couple of picnic tables in case you brought a lunch.


And the 2nd bridge. Looking a little more closely at the map, it would seem the original trail meant for us to continue up on that side and then it would just end at some point.We decided to stay on this side because there was less snow. I am glad we did continue on this side of the stream, because, while the trail was a little thin, it did get me to where I wanted to go.


This is really starting to remind me of the gulley I used to run around and play in as a kid.


Lots of wild roses. At least I think that’s what these are.


Really thin steep section. Luckily some nice people added these ropes to help you up and down. They looked a little thin and I was worried they wouldn’t hold our weight, but they did. Of course, use at your own risk.


Random spring.


The first little waterfall.



And the remains of some structure, dam or mill, or just water rerouting device.

The trail up alongside and above this waterfall is definitely thin and kind of sketchy, but it doesn’t seem too dangerous and does get you up above it.


The creek.


Little cascade coming down the hill.




Coming out of this tube under the firebreak rd.

The thin trail on this side of the creek was a little too sketchy for me, but If you look around you will find a safer way up like I did.


It took me about 50 feet out of the way, but I made it to the road safe and sound.

You can skip the lower gulley by driving up to 5th east and Oakridge dr. Hiking up the rest of Oakridge drive, then down the firebreak rd to here. Last time I did this I did that, but continued to the right, when I should have taken a left at the firebreak rd. and apparently I was trespassing. So this is what I was supposed to do. Anyway, it is probably easier, but a lot less pretty. I think I prefer the new way that I found, sketchy sections and all.


Just take a right at the creek.


The creek.


The second waterfall. Wow it is actually really pretty! The false trail I took before completely skips this!


The upper section.


The narrow channel above the falls. This part was also thin and steep but not too bad.


Heading up along the gulley.


Around the bend you come to this rocky cliff.


And finally Ricks Creek Waterfall.

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Better shot.


Faint waterfall-bow.

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From the other side.

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From a little lower down.


Drill holes in the boulders in the creek.

Well we had our fun at the waterfall but decided it was time to turn around.


Looking down stream.


Back into the gulley.


Back to the 2nd waterfall.


Hitting the bench.


Back to the Firebreak Rd/Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Trying to find where I came up.


Near the top of the first waterfall.


The other side of the structure.


Fun mess of trees.


Deer tracks.


Trailhead map. Yep we did not follow the intended trail. We continued up on the north side of the stream, up above the firebreak road. Not sure where the original intended trail leads, and I might return to find out, but I am happy the trail I took ended up getting me to where I was hoping to go.


The lower trail again.


The extra manmade falls. I wonder what this was originally? Probably a mill.

Well, I hind site being 20/20 it appears I did not fully follow the intended trail so I don’t know what the ending is supposed to offer. However what I did find was even better and I am happy we did it. It started out kind of meh, but ended with a good bang and even though it was short, it was a great workout. Going with 8 our out 10 squirrels. losing one for thinness and 1 for difficulty to find.

squirrels 8

As for difficulty, I am going with a DR4 there were definitely some thin sketchy parts.

Dogs are allowed! Be sure to clean up after your furry friend.

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