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Length: 3 miles                Time:  5.2 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous         Elevation Gain: 1119 feet
18.3-18.8 Davis Creek Trail - Lower Canyon Sections

Description: These trail sections take you from the 1st waterfall to either a beautiful meadow on the side of the mountain or over the first ridge to a dark, cool area shaded by tall pine trees. Locals nicknamed the spot “Hell Hole” (POI #43), but this is a misnomer since it is really a paradise of natural beauty.

Section #18.8 (“El Capitan”): Start at the split-off to the 1st waterfall (see section #18.9). Instead of going to the waterfall, go south toward “Pretty Valley.” You will traverse the hillside for about 200 yards then emerge from a humble forest of  “bowing” trees to a double switchback. After about a half mile, you will find another switchback in a grove of trees. Go east (left). Fifty feet up this trail by a marker, there is a trail split. Instead of going straight up the hill to “Hell Hole,” take the right branch toward Pretty Valley. You will pass “El Capitan,” a huge rock jutting out of the hillside (POI #38). Notice the rock’s interesting layering that gives it the look of a large tree stump with red stains. A great view awaits you from atop this monolith.

“Wolf Head Rock” (POI #39) is just above it, named by a Cub Scout years ago. Can you make out the snarling teeth and “blood” on the wolf’s muzzle from his last kill? His eye glistens if it has rained recently, and his ears are pricked up. The imagination of a young boy is wonderful!

The trail winds to the south through tree-filled meadows to eventually reach Pretty Valley (POI #37). Scouts love to camp here and play “capture the flag” in the large meadow. You can almost smell the hot dogs roasting over the campfire.

Section #18.7 (“Indian Annie”): This section is the north branch of the three ways that lead to the Hell Hole area. Hell Hole has several great camping sites. The trail starts at the 1st waterfall and goes up the canyon beginning at the footbridge on the south side of the creek. This is a steep and narrow trail that inexperienced hikers should not take. It switchbacks up the mountain and comes out on top at section #18.5. Indian Annie Rock (POI #33) is on the north side of the creek. See page 136 for the story of Indian Annie.

Section #18.6 (“Prayer Rock”): Section #18.5 (“Camp on the Mount”) connects  to section #18.4 (“Hell Hole”) by way of Prayer Rock (POI #40), a large rock with a commanding view that hikers enjoy for meditating.

Section #18.5 (“Camp on the Mount”): This is the middle branch of the three ways that lead to the Hell Hole area. It connects to section #18.8 by way of two excellent campsites on the mount that can accommodate an entire scout troop. This section uses a narrow path through thick evergreens called “Christmas Tree Lane” (POI #41) to drop down to the Hell Hole area to the east.

Section #18.4 (“Hell Hole”): This is the south branch of the three ways that lead to the Hell Hole area. It heads east from Pretty Valley over a tall hill then down into the Hell Hole area. You pass section #18.6 on your left and the Cattleman Trail (#33) trailhead on your right just before dropping down to Hell Hole. This section of trail is approved for horses.

Section #18.3 (“Second Waterfall”): This section departs east of the Hell Hole area and continues up the canyon. A couple hundred yards up the trail, there is a spur to the left that drops down to the creek and the 2nd waterfall. The main trail continues east, paralleling the stream. This leads to a sloped rock outcropping next to the creek. The Cave Camp is below the outcropping. The trail turns to the right before reaching Cave Camp. The trail continues to the right across a section of flat rock at a steep angle. Walk through a forest hollow of deep evergreen shade with a thick bed of pine needles underfoot. One old tree, “Old Abe” (POI #44), has a trunk four feet across.

Continue up the creek and you will reach the 3rd waterfall just after a draw to the east. This draw is the beginning of section #18.2.

Access Locations:
Access #1 - Triumph Junction: Section #18.8 can be accessed from the Triumph Trail (#34) by crossing the bridge above the Davis Creek 1st waterfall.

Other Accesses: The other sections of Trail #18 are accessed by adjoining sections of the trail as described earlier.

Features:
  • These trail sections take you to three picturesque waterfalls.
  • Enjoy a beautiful hike through a dense forest east of Farmington.
  • Hell Hole has edible raspberries in the early summer.
  • There are many beautiful campsites.

Trail Surface and Status: This is a wilderness trail left as natural as possible. Look for the trail markers to stay on course.

 

#18.3-18map
Davis Creek El Captain by G2Chipman

Story of Indian Annie: During hostilities between the U.S. Cavalry and the American Indians, the Bannock Tribe was massacred in the summer of 1863. William A. Rose found a four-year-old Indian girl that survived. He traded her for a riding pony to the Rice family, who raised her as one of their own. They named her Ida Anne, and she gained the nickname “Indian Annie.” She grew to be a beautiful Indian maiden, and in 1883 she fell in love with and married a man 40 years her senior, Jonathan F. Wilcox. They lived on the bench above Farmington where they raised four sons and four daughters. There are many stories about Ida Anne’s skills, resourcefulness, and service to her neighbors. Some of her descendants live in Farmington today.

Indian Annie Rock: Next to Davis Creek on the north side above the first waterfall is a large rock facing east. If you use your imagination (okay, a lot of imagination), you can see the face of Indian Annie surrounded by a headband of dark feathers. The face ages a lifetime in one day. As the sunrise washes out the features of the rock, you see the face of an Indian maiden. The face ages with deeper lines as the sun climbs. By evening, the shadows deepen and all that remains of the face is the skull of Indian Annie as she now lies beneath the sod of the earth she loved to wander. Her spirit and memory linger as one enjoys the repose of the approaching night. Ida Anne’s grave is in the Farmington City Cemetery. Her baby girl, who died on the child’s fourth birthday, lies at the feet of her mother and father with a notation on her father’s grave marker: “But somehow I think they are with us today, more real now that earth’s life is o’er and somewhere in the hill tops of that country that knoweth no pain, they will stand in God’s beautiful doorway…”