Steels Creek

Put a kid here, pull the cord, and watch them go ape. Steel Creek has a rope swing perfectly scaled for school kids. It’s not tall enough to scare them – or their parents – yet, at 10 feet, it has enough pendulum to keep them occupied for hours.

The river has a cascade six to seven feet high that empties into a small pool that’s 20 feet wide and very square. Lots of freestone in the creek that would normally inhibit depth, but below the cascade, about one dozen boulders trap water and make the creek seven to eight feet deep in the tiny sweet spot under the rope swing. It’s easy in and easy out. When you’re tired you can get comfortable on the rock between the cascades, maybe do a couple of five foot dives from the fall face.

It’s a small watershed, less than seven square miles. So it can dry up earlier, but the water will be a bit warmer since the highest elevation is below 3,000 feet. Usership is not too heavy. The trailhead is primarily for equestrians, but the horse trail doesn’t seem to travel this far up the creek. Still, plan on seeing maybe six other people there on a summer day. Best visited at midday.

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