December 26, 2014.
Christmas, as usual, was unseasonably warm- and so was the day after. We decided to head down to the Blackwater Canyon Trail and hike out to the overlook there. Of course, you can’t go to the BWCT without visiting Douglas Falls and the Coke Ovens along the trail.
Directions: To get here from Davis, drive toward Thomas. As you come into Thomas, take the road on the left called Douglas Road. Drive down through this road until Rail Falls Road crosses Douglas Road. Rail Falls Road is part of the Blackwater Canyon trail and is a gravel road. As you drive, you’ll see telegraph poles, as well as the coke ovens. Stopping at the interpretive sign and checking out the ovens is definitely worthwhile. Here’s a photo of a couple of friends checking out the inside of one of the ovens. You can definitely check them out from the inside, but be careful not to touch the bricks on the inside or damage them in any way. After the coke ovens, you’ll pass Albert Falls, a short but wide waterfall along the river. There’s a swimming hole under the falls, but it was definitely too cold to stop that day. You’ll come to a railroad bridge with a tie missing. You can either park here or continue on to a parking area just over the bridge. Sometimes yellow jackets form a pretty gnarly nest on this ridge, though, so keep that in mind.
You can hear Douglas Falls as soon as you pass around the forest service gate. A small, semi-washed out trail leads down to the falls.
You can explore the area around the falls and, on some days, walk behind the waterfall on the rocks. It was too full and too chilly out for us to venture behind the falls on this day, though. The trail passes several rocky areas after the falls as it winds its way around the ridge. The river drops way down into the canyon and the trail stays higher up. The trail looks like this for much of the way. It’s a much different trail in the summer and spring- lush and green. You’ll pass by a couple of waterfalls as you follow the trail to the overlook. Of course, these dry up in the late summer and fall if it hasn’t been particularly rainy. The overlook has railing across it so you don’t fall off, and a tunnel underneath. The tunnel is nothing special- just your run-of-the-mill culvert.
This is a panorama of the overlook. You can see the river below, as well as what looks like Lindy Point on the mountainside across from the canyon. You can see this trail both from Table Rock and Lindy Point. Below is the view looking upriver from the overlook. You can get a pretty decent view of the river and canyon on clear days.