In the heat of summer, when we’ve soaked up all the sun we can handle, my wife and I (often with grandchildren in tow) pick the coolest and most refreshing hike we know.
BX Creek sits down in a deep green gully and is often much cooler than the town. And if you are still too hot, there are pools to dip in along the way.
There are two access points.
At the lower end, turn off Silver Star Road onto Star Road just past the school, and follow it uphill until you see the trail signs on your right.
At the upper end, turn off Silver Star Road at Tillicum, and follow the road down, just until it starts to rise again. The small parking lot is a tight turn on your right.
My pick is to start at the upper end. This gives you quick access to the waterfall.
The full walk between parking spots is about two hours return, but you can shorten the walk by turning around when you want, or by positioning cars at both ends. Keep in mind that the trail can be rough in places.
From the top, a steep climb down stairs brings you to the base of the waterfall, and to the pool below. In the spring, the water roars down, and has over the years washed away some foot bridges. But by summer the pool is calm and you’ll often see families down there wading or building dams.
After climbing back up from the falls, another set of stairs leads you down to the creek again, and now you have a pleasant walk along the stream for a long ways, crossing bridges and finding picnic spots by the pools.
Ginger grows in the damp along the trail, and I like to pull up a piece of root, and chew it as I walk. This hike is great for kids, as it is a mossy Tolkien world, with surprises around every corner. There are places where you can explore little islands by crossing the stream on logs.
And this hike is not only for summer. Try it in winter, with sturdy boots, when the creek flows down through icy banks!
Dave Smith, Ribbons of Green