Monday, March 7, 2011

03-05-2011 Tar Creek

Hopper Mountain

Frank, Justin, and I decided that another trip to Tar Creek was in order. So we headed out to Fillmore, powered up on waffles, and drove up the road to the trailhead. Right off the bat we found a rather large hole in the trail.

Watch out for C.H.U.D.S

The hike down to the cascades was nice. The water level is still pretty high. It was a cold 48.3F when I measured it.

When we got to the 70ft falls we saw a group of canyoneers rigging up to rappel the falls. I went over and was happy to find out that they knew to remove their webbing when they were done. We watched them make the short rap of about 30ft I'd guess.

Then we took the walk around, and proceeded to the larger bottom falls. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there wasn't any webbing left behind at the bolts at the big falls.

The Final Pool

Pretty soon the group made their way down to us. They rigged up, and started rapping down the 120-130ft to the shallow pool below. Frank and Justin took the walk around trail, and snapped some pictures of the canyoneers.

When they were all down I untied their webbing. I packed it into a water bottle their group leader had left with me. Sorry, I couldn't fit the rapide into the bottle, so I just fixed it to a bolt. Then I tossed the bottle down to the group. If any of you wants to see more pictures just contact me through the blog.

The three of us sat around for a little bit more. It was a really nice day. Just like my last few trips down Tar Creek, we didn't see any condors. Recharged, we hit the trail back up the canyon.

Just upcreek of the cascades we ran into a large group of under-prepared looking people. I saw a guy wearing just a pair of Crocs for shoes (he was rubbing his sore feet). And I saw more than one person that looked like they had just hand-carried a (now empty) Vitaminwater bottle as their sole source of fluids. I hope everybody made it out okay.

It took me 43 minutes to get up the big hill, five minutes off my best time. Here's a picture of Topatopa Peak (the real one) if you look closely you can see the frame of the lookout tower that burned up in the 2006 Day Fire.


  1. Nice report, EP. Weather looked fantastic. Bittersweet to see that last photo; never did have the pleasure of visiting that lookout ...

  2. Some sweet shots. I missed you by a day this time. I was down there on Sunday.

  3. On one of the rappel photos there is a large bird flying overhead. I thought at first that just maybe you got a very special photo. Crow? TV? Regardless - great pictures as always.

  4. Thanks for the compliments. Yeah, it's just a crow. There were two of them up there playing around. I was stoked when we saw the other canyoneers. I knew it meant we could take pictures of the big falls with a sense of scale.

  5. hey love your blog! today was the first time of doing the tar creek loop. option 1 on
    we completely lost the trail up past sespe trying to get to tar. where is it?? we had to bush wack down to by first falls.

    also totally shocked to see rope placement to right of big waterfall as you face it! we tried to anchor off the other side and gave up.

  6. Yeah, there is a spot on the way up the trail where you get some big rocks and your inclination is to go to the right to find the trail. You should actually go left. I've made this mistake several times and ended up bushwhacking my way back up to the trail. Thanks for checking out the blog. Merry Christmas.

  7. Use to hike this all the time when I lived in Fillmore. Tar Creek is a great place to hike and relax before you take the rest of the trip to the Sespe... an even better hike is continuing UP the Sespe river to Westfork then if your feeling adventurous up further to the Narrows