This trip was questionable off the bat, the temperature dropped to severe cold and it was the first weekend of hunting season; it felt like a game of chicken between me, Kyle, Gabe and John to see who was going to fold first. John called to talk about leaving for Richland Creek Saturday morning, but Kyle was already on his way to pick me up. When Kyle arrived I stepped outside to a frigid evening and the thought of leaving in the morning was tempting. Kyle was excited to get out in the cold, he had a new sleeping bag to test, if there's one thing I can understand it's trying out new gear. Kyle and I left that evening, stopping for pizza and beer, we made camp at 12:30am. John and Gabe made plans to meet us at Richland Creek the next morning.
Kyle and I woke to frigid temperatures, icy condensation greeted me in the morning as I struggled to get out of my sleeping bag. I found the best patch of sunshine to stand in while making coffee. John and Gabe rolled into camp as me and Kyle finished our breakfast of coffee and left over pizza. Oh and yes, Kyle slept warm in his new sleeping bag.
This is the first time I've explored Richland Creek and two things immediately come to mind, this is not a trip to attempt in summer and know your map and compass skills. There is an unofficial trail that snakes along Richland Creek, but it is faint at times leading to confusion about the best way to travel. If your entering the wilderness area from the Richland Creek Campground, Richland Creek is a great handrail but a map and compass is your best bet to stay oriented. My friends and I commented many times about the precarious vegetation that would surely line the creek in the summer. This would make travel very difficult.
We traversed the sometimes difficult terrain and managed to cross Richland Creek three times without getting wet. I know there are many instances when Richland Creek is a wet crossing, thankfully on this chilly day we were able to stay dry. I kept wondering what it would be like with a greater force of water crashing into the many large boulders that dot Richland Creek. I'm sure the beauty of the river would change; I also know our travel up river would be a bit more tedious.
We eventually found Richland Falls and Twin falls. Both water falls are very close to each other and very distinct. Richland Creek Falls spans the width of the creek, about 40 yards and is a 6 foot drop. At Twin Falls, two falls plunge to a singular pool.
We camped near twin falls with a great view of the valley, you can't beat the rushing sound of water for a meditative experience.