The Champion Creek Trailhead is at the uppermost reach for the Brice Creek Trail, and from here the trail follows the creek downstream 5.5 miles toward the West Trailhead. Because the entire Brice Creek Trail is a little long for a there-and-back hike (though the distance is doable with a shuttle), it may be best to explore the trail in segments. The Champion Creek segment is a little less crowded than the downstream areas due to its location. It’s not only a little longer to drive to, but the creek's gradient is also a little steeper and faster so there are comparatively fewer of the creek's famous emerald pools.
The pools and falls that you find on this upper section are no less spectacular, however. Barney’s Rubble is the local nickname for a gorgeous set of features near the confluence of Brice and Trestle Creeks. Here the creek splits, banks, falls and foams over the basalt bed, plunging into aerated and effervescent pools. In dappled summer light when the smell of dry moss and firs are in the air, Brice Creek positively glows.
As the trail proceeds downstream it cuts into the lush old-growth for a bit. If you are hiking in the spring, look for the ever-opportunistic wildflowers that find patches of sunlight in the heavy shade. The trail returns to the creek just before it reaches the bridge to Lund Campground, an excellent spot to turn back if you are looking for a shorter hike. If you have more energy, continue down the trail in search of your own private pool, or consider returning via the Upper Trestle Creek Falls Loop.