Waterfall Hike

This is 2:45 - 4:00 hour hike and not a simple one. There are several areas of steep, rocky terrain. They don't require you to use your hands, but a walking stick would be helpful, and I often found myself grabbing trees on the edge of the trail to maintain my balance.

 

Head out the parking lot turn left and you will run back into the main road, turn left drive to the top and park. You will see the Lily Pad Lake trailhead (looks like a road) to the West. You want the Trailhead to the East for Buffalo Mountain. Actually at the trail head sign there are two trails, you want the one to the left.

Start hiking you will climb gently to a 4 way trail junction in about 15-30 mins. The sign says 'Willow Creek' ahead, 'Buffalo Cabin' left and 'Mesa Cortina' right. You want to go straight. Don't pay attention to the trail names, the signs are contradictory and don't correspond with any of the local maps.

During the next section you will encounter steeper, rockier areas that require caution and careful footing. This section will take 45mins-1 hour and a half. A walking stick might help here. (Watch for the trail that circles to the left at the first mini-boulder field). You will descend back down to a boggy area and then cross the Creek. The trail will meander up and to your left until it reaches the T shaped Trail Junction. This sign shows that you were on the Buffalo Cabin trail and the South Willow Creek trail is to the right and left. You want to head left.

You will climb for about 15-30 minutes and can't miss the falls. Enjoy a lunch break and be careful around the slick wet rocks. Get a look at them from up high and down low. You can return via the same route.

Enjoy.

If you want a longer but easier route, drive to the Mesa Cortina trailhead and go from there.  This is probably almost twice as far but should take about 3 1/2-6 hours as the slopes are much less steep.