“A beautiful trail following the Collins River.”
— Daniel Ray
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Commonly Backpacked
This trail is wonderful. The majority of it is nice and winding and follows the Collins River; at times it can prove quite challenging.
If you are coming from the Connector Trail
as we did, the first several miles are pretty easy. They are easily marked and easily traveled. Around half a mile in, you come to a short spur trail leading to Schwoon Spring; here you can get more water. The trail leading to the spring isn't difficult but it does climb the entire way. This was a nice stopping point for lunch. The next 2 miles are fairly average and easy. Along the way here, you'll pass Fall Creek Sink and Horsepound Falls, both of which make for beautiful sights.
Just after passing Horsepound Falls, you basically begin your ascent for the last mile or so before reaching the end of the trail that connects you to the Collins West Camp Access Trail
. This last portion of the hike can prove quite challenging. There are several switchbacks that climb pretty quickly. There is some rocky terrain next which is fun to cross; if these areas are wet or icy, it can be quite dangerous. Along this portion, the trail is very narrow at times, so be mindful not to take a wrong step (it is a long way down).
At the very end of this trail (or beginning from Collins West Camp Access Trail
), you'll pass Suter Falls. Be sure to take a moment to enjoy the beautiful views and multiple picture opportunities. From here, you hike along the rock shelf under the bluff taking you toward the parking lot. This last portion can be quite steep.