There are two points of entry onto this trail. We opted for the second one. The trail begins with quite a decline in elevation. As we started out, with our 45 lb packs on, the thought of coming back up the trail was pushed into the back of our minds. Once at the bottom, the trail intersects with the first stream. A log bridge is provided. The first 1/2 mile to a mile is laiden with camp sites - it seems they were put there so people can feel like their out in nature, yet not have to exurt too much energy to get there. Anyways, once you pass the campsites, the magic begins. It's a rolling hike - specifically, its never to much uphill or too much downhill. It's a perfect combination of both. The river is followed at all times on this trail. It's an amazing river. The clarity of the water is astounding. There are several waterfalls along this path and underneath the waterfalls are deep pools full of turqoise water. Its a perfect place to sit on the rocks, throw on the sandles and splash around a bit. The pools are at least 20 ft deep (although they don't appear to be as you can see the bottom clearly), the river bed is in spots as smooth as concrete and there were only one or two slippery spots on the rocks. If you don't mind cold (and I mean cold) water, this would be a great trail to forget the trail and travel the river.
We were told this was a trail to see old growth. You don't actually see one of those beauties until over half way through the hike, and then they are few and far between. In the earlier portion there are several tall remenants of the former giants, which leaves you to marval at their size during their lives.
If you go far enough along the trail, and then through the river a bit - you can find a few really great, secluded campsites.
This is a really great trail for a long daytrip or an overnight stay. Trout are abundant, so bring your fishing pole. I would definately recommend this hike for those who are just starting out with heavy packs - it puts it all into perspective without getting yourself in trouble. :-)
Oh, two words of caution... THere are a lot of mountain bikers on this trail, but all were courteous. And, I had an encounter with a pack of bees that made their nest on the groung along the off shoot trail to one of the falls. So, bee careful. :-)