We drove up the dusty gravel road, winding through the tall trees of the Opal Creek Wilderness. Just past the turn-off for Three Pools Day Use Area we found the small pull off for the Henline Falls trailhead.
A layer of dust clung to the silver Honda CR-V as we pulled out our backpacks. We filled out the hiker form at the trailhead and then began our hike.
The trail was beautifully maintained: a wide, even, and well-groomed path led us gently up the hill. No one was in sight, and the shade offered some relief from the sun. It was the perfect temperature underneath the canopy of fir trees.
The 1.8 mile hike to the falls was gentle on our legs. As we came up to the falls, we made a few hops and climbs to get over some historical pieces of this place. As this was an old mining site, there was some rebar and concrete remnants of what used to be. We could see parts of the mountain had concave holes in them from the expedition. Up on the side of the mountain we found an old mining cave that led a few paces inside, where a warning sign and gate was found.
The falls opened up to a pebble covered shore and a stunning pool of crystal clear water. The area was big enough to walk around or sit and enjoy lunch. The pool was frigid, but the calm and shallow demeanor of it was inviting. The water fell gently into the ravine between two huge rock formations, and we felt so small looking up at the falling water. We wandered around the base, looking for agates and taking in the quiet.
After Finn got to play in the water and we had explored every inch of the surprisingly large fall, we slowly made our way back. We meandered through the tall trees, the tall cliffs playing peek-a-boo between the trees. The trail was long enough to feel like a hike, but never made us lose our breath.
We put our backpacks back in the car, buckled Finn in the back, and made our way to our campsite. The hike was beautiful, the fall was stunning, and we got to see some historical remnants. What a beautiful place to escape the summer heat.