Thursday, March 12, 2015

Deadman Canyon's Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls (March 10, 2015)
Hidden Falls is a small cataract in the Deadman Canyon of Hidden Falls Regional Park—a Sierra Nevada foothill park near Auburn, the county seat of Placer County in California. A platform at the end of the Hidden Falls Access Trails makes viewing of the waterfall possible from midair; just where the year-round water flow of Deadman's Creek continues on its path downhill into Coon Creek Canyon.

The Hidden Falls cataract is located about 2.5 miles northwest of the Hidden Gateway. From this trailhead area you will get into Deadman's Creek by descending the Poppy Loop Trail. After crossing over the creek via Whiskey Diggins Bridge, you will get to the above shown intersection of Hidden Falls Access Trail and Blue Oak Loop Trail with North Legacy Way. Follow the Hidden Falls Access Trail alongside Deadman's Creek through oak forest to the waterfall observation deck. Even without a waterfall this would be an enjoyable and relaxing setting.

To return to the Hidden Gateway on a different path, take the trail from the viewing platform alongside Coon Creek to the Canyon View Bridge. Notice the informative panel on the left that reviews California's Golden Geology and sets Hidden Falls Park in context with its gold mining past:

The first gold miners panned for gold in streams and rivers. When the gold became harder to find, they started using a process called placer mining. This process used lots of water to wash the gold from the earth. If there were no rivers or streams nearby, the water needed for placer mining had to be delivered by canals. The Whiskey Diggins Canal was built in the southern portion of [what now is] Hidden Falls Regional Park for this purpose. During the 1850s, the Gold Hill and Bear River Water Company built the canal to bring water from Deadman Creek. As profits from mining decreased, people turned to ranching and agriculture to make a living.

Coon Creek Canyon view near Canyon View Bridge

From the Canyon View Bridge (without crossing it), ascend eastward on North Legacy Way until you arrive at its intersection with Blue Oak Loop Trail. Turn right onto the latter and walk southeast on this trail to the Whiskey Diggins Bridge, where the Poppy Loop Trail.connects you with your starting point.

Keyterms: historywestern slopes of the Sierra Nevada rangeplacer mining, Whiskey Diggins Canal, Deadman Creek (also Deadman's Creek).

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