Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
52.00 ft (15.85 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
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In stories, entries to secret worlds are found in the unlikeliest of places—in a wardrobe, over the rainbow, and even in a galaxy far, far away. Tannery Creek gives you real-life access to a stream that feels like it's been pulled from a fairy tale. And it, too, is found in the last place you'd expect: behind the Naples Highway Garage.

Tannery Creek Trailhead is quite literally tucked behind a row of snowplows that have been removed from pickup trucks for their summer storage. To get to it, park in the office parking lot located at the end of Tannery Creek Road. You will walk between the garage and small office and go behind the building. It feels awkward, but you're in the right place.

The trail immediately drops you down into Tannery Creek. Cross a slippery log, and within about 50 feet you'll be facing the first of a series of charming waterfalls. The creekbed opens up to a small beach. There is a bench made of slate and a small pool. The first falls are about 8 feet high and cascade over a bulge of slate.

At this point, you have a choice. Pull off your shoes, climb up the falls, and continue the hike barefoot (my preferred way to travel Tannery Creek) or follow the little trail along the side. The "path" meanders alongside the creek and at times disappears into the water, so prepare to get wet. That, however, is the beauty of Tannery Creek.

You will follow the creek upstream and climb over a series of sweet little falls ranging 3 to 4 feet. The fourth waterfall is taller (approximately 15 ft), and you will have to scramble up along the side. The trail is slick, and ropes attached to trees and roots give you leverage to get up. Continue another 150 yards, and you'll get to the fifth and largest waterfall. At this point, be sure to notice that the creek's banks get progressively deeper. By the time you get to the fifth falls, you are deep in a narrow glen made entirely of slate. The entire place has a primordial feel to it.

The fifth waterfall consists of a small upper falls and a longer lower falls. The lower is about 15 feet and fills up a natural pool. It's deep enough to plunge in but not cliff jump. The upper falls is about 8 feet and spills over a slate lip above. Follow the trail alongside, also with ropes, and get to the top falls. You can stand behind the water or under.

Some people opt for water shoes, but I find bare feet provide more traction. The shale can be surprising slick. When you're ready to go, just retrace your steps back. Temperatures are significantly cooler in the glen, making Tannery Creek a perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Breathtaking scenery. Five waterfalls. Easy to cool off.

Cons

Slippery. Narrow to nonexistent trails.

Trailhead Elevation

769.00 ft (234.39 m)

Highest point

796.00 ft (242.62 m)

Net Elevation Gain

28.00 ft (8.53 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Near lake or river

Access

Hike-in

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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