West Fork and Tangerine Falls
[out of 5]
|For:||Can be slippery, some climbing|
The hike begins at the main Cold Spring Trail After a gentle uphill for 1/4 of a mile you reach a bench by the creek where you can sit and clear your mind with the gentle sounds of small waterfalls. This bench is at the junction to the West Fork of Cold Spring Trail. Cross the creek at the bench and continue up the hill for about 3 more miles, passing a historical, landmark water tunnel along the way to the summit at Gibraltar Rd.
For a variation, there is a small junction you come to well before the summit at Gibraltar Rd. Follow this primitive trail along the creek to a waterfall known as Tangerine Falls. It's quite an adventurous rock-hopping kind of a trail, and at some places, not a trail for the faint of heart.
Also, not far along after you turn off toward Tangerine falls there is another turnoff to the left as you follow the water pipe. This trail will take you steeply to a nice rock outcrop at the top of the falls. You can't see the falls from this outcrop, but you can enjoy the lofty perch just as well. Continuing along this trail, a little exploration on your part and you might discover something interesting at the end of this trail—a structure some of us call the homestead. Or you may find yourself sweating up a steep hill toward the top of the mountains, if that part of the trail still exists.
The total mileage for the basic West Fork to Gibraltar Rd. trail is 3.5 miles round trip. For Tangerine Falls it is closer to 3 miles round trip.