When I pulled into the parking area of the trailhead of Kings Creek Falls at 8:30 AM, there were no other cars there.
One hiking guide listed this hike, in usage, as “heavy” but on this October Wednesday, I had the trail and the falls, all to myself.
The idiom, “the early bird gets the worm” is true for a reason. While others are sleeping in, having an extra pancake, or puttering around with gear, I was on the road by 7:40 AM. Nothing ruins an experience with nature than hordes of people. Yosemite Valley in June, for instance.
The weather was brisk in the early morning hours but the skies clear as I passed through the lovely golden meadows, bisected by Kings Creek. I was heading downstream, towards the 50 foot drop of the Kings Creek Falls.
I once heard that the difference between a creek and a brook is that you can jump a brook, without getting your feet wet. If I were to jump Kings Creek, even with a lively run up, I would land near the middle, with my boots fully immersed in creek. Kings Creek definitely was a creek verging on the edge of being river.
As I hiked, I shed a layer and sweat was beginning to line my brow. The morning was warming up and I came to a trail junction. The trail to the right was a steep and narrow rocky staircase which was oneway. The trail to the left was the trail that left the creek but eventually return to the water course and led to the recently installed King Creek Falls Overlook.
I could hear the roar of the waterfall before I saw it. In 2015, improvements were made to the Overlook area. I assume the building of a fence (featured in the sketch to the right) was to allow visitors to safely get a view of the falls without falling over the edge!
I picked my spot and started to sketch the falls. I kept the sketch loose, it is a sketch after all. I like to work in pen brush, leaving the white of the paper as the water and using the darkness of the pen brush to fill in the shadows and define forms.
During the whole sketch, I had the overlook to myself. When I finished I walked downstream to get a lower perspective of the falls. These falls were certainly impressive but later in my trip I would see some of the most amazing falls in the state of California. (I’m not talking about Yosemite Falls).
Now it was time for one of the surprisingly rewarding parts of the hike, the return journey along the Kings Creek Cascades on a steep and narrow stone stairway.
It was an invigorating climb, with many places of wonderment and rest. The narrow canyon was filled with the sound of water rushing over rock.
On my return I encountered a trickle of people, heading for whence I came. They had finished their pancakes and their gear was now in order. The more people I passed on the way out, the more I appreciated my one-on-one time with one of Lassen’s most popular sites: Kings Creek Falls.