Most area hiking trails are in pretty good shape right now. One of my close-by favorites is Goose Creek Falls up by Brundage Ski Resort.
Goose Creek Falls is a 65-foot high waterfall on Goose Creek below Goose Creek Reservoir up past McCall.
There are two ways in. One is a pretty easy hike and the other one is not so easy.
The not-so-easy trail is rated as moderate. It is probably 3 or 4 miles round trip. Most hikes start you at a trailhead and have you hike uphill. That makes the return trip a little easier since you are walking back downhill.
The not-so-easy way to Goose Creek Falls starts out all downhill so you have to slog back uphill. There is about a 1,000-foot elevation change between the trailhead and the falls.
To reach the trailhead take Highway 55 to the Brundage Ski Resort turn-off. The turn-off is well-marked and is about halfway between McCall and New Meadows.
Drive up toward Brundage. About 1 mile before the resort is a snowmobile parking area called Gordon Titus parking area. It is well-marked.
The trailhead starts near the bathrooms on a logging trail. You turn left off the logging trail. The turn-off is not well-marked.
If you walk until you are out of sight of the bathrooms, you’ve gone too far. The turn-off is no more than 50 to 75 yards from the bathrooms.
My wife and I took this hike back in early May and missed the turn-off. We hiked up the logging road quite a way. I can tell you the road goes a long way. So look for the trail off to the left and do not continue on the logging road.
The trail goes steadily downhill. You come to Goose Creek. Cross the bridge and continue on walking downstream for about a quarter-mile.
There is a sign on the tree pointing to Goose Creek Falls. You will probably hear the falls.
Walk toward the creek. There is a granite rock formation shaped like a spine.
Continue on the spine until the trail peters out. If you are afraid of heights maybe don’t walk past the last tree. It is a long drop.
When we were there, the river was roaring, and we didn’t feel comfortable scrambling down the rocks to the base of the falls.
The easier hike to Goose Creek Falls starts at Last Chance Campground. Last Chance Campground is about 2 or 3 miles east of New Meadows on Highway 55. The turn-off is to the north, left if you are coming from New Meadows. It is well marked — Road No. 257.
Turn up the road and go about 2 miles. The campground is on the right with parking on the left.
The trail to Goose Creek Falls is well-marked and is at the top of the campground. It is about a 3-mile hike in with moderate elevation gain.
The trail takes you right to the downhill side of the same rock spine and is well-marked. You can’t miss it.
When we hiked in (hard trail the first day and easy the second day) we did not see anybody. The trails will be crowded now.
It’s shady on both trails. Bring water, leave behind only footprints and have a good time.