This out-and-back hike heads along Holly Creek and Emery Creek passing several waterfall on the way to the highlight of the hike—Emery Falls. Along the way, you'll likely get your feet wet, as the trail crosses the creek about ten times on the way there (plus you have to return). There are plenty of photo and picnicking spots to enjoy along the way.
Parking is limited, and this trail gets busy especially when the weather is warmer and nice.
Starting on the Emery Creek Trail #97
on the south end off Holly Creek Road (FS 18)
you'll hike along Emery Creek. From the trailhead, you'll start high above the creek on a very rooty and rocky stretch up to the confluence of Emery and Holly Creeks. Fortunately, this is the most challenging part of the hike. It's a popular section of trail, so you'll probably meet people walking along here as folks like to hang out in the rapids, pools, and small cascades.
Once past the Holly Creek confluence, the trail will get much quieter. The trail climbs gently through a mixed hemlock and hardwood forest alongside the creek. About 1.4 miles in, the trail widens into an old road bed which you'll follow for about a tenth of a mile. The trail will climb up to the left (do not go straight and cross the creek).
You'll cross the creek and turn on a short spur trail to access the base of the first waterfall. Skirt up and around it to see the second falls directly above. Both of these falls have nice pools for dipping your feet on a hot day, and both make for great picnicking. There is a campsite at the top of the first falls, but it's easy to get chilly here, so bring a layer to put on if you plan on hanging out!
Head back to the main trail and continue up, a bit more steeply. It's not far to three more waterfalls, and soon you'll hear a roar through the rhododendron and see glimpses of whitewater and a definite falls below. Getting a closer look requires scrambling down the bank, but it's well worth the effort. These falls drop 15, 40, and 15 feet, and each has a nice plunge pool.
Return the way you came to get back to the main trailhead. Feel free to stop and play in the rapids along the way!