This is the perfect spot for a late fall run in the Pacific Northwest for so many reasons. The lowland old growth forest is dripping with moss and feels mystical as you parallel the winding river. The overwhelming growth of decaying matter on the forest floor is comforting to a Northwest native and rings a wild tune. If we weren't running I would have brought a large satchel to collect the countless edible mushrooms we spotted.
The trail is 11 miles out and back. A great option in running this trail is to make a loop and connect to the Surprise Creek trail by going over a short (but steep) pass which will then take you back to Highway 2. You don't necessarily need a car shuttle if you don't mind running on the road briefly.
We stopped at a few bends in the trail to stare at the river, which is becoming a common theme during our trail runs. You always have to stop to smell the roses. The climbing happens in one swoop above the river (~1400 ft) and is fairly technical. I'm glad I wasn't wearing my Hokas, otherwise I likely would have rolled my ankle. Salomons were a good choice for this trail.
This trail was empty with no sign of previous tracks. It didn't have any "extreme" climbing involved and no mountain vistas, but every now and then I'm drawn to trails like this so I can enjoy the serenity of a towering forest. It was also nice not to huff out a lung while going up a mountain. I imagine this trail is run-able in the winter months since it is in the lowlands of the Cascades.
Deception Creek (#1059) and Surprise Lake (#1060)
Distance: 11 mi+
Elevation Gain: 1400ft; 4500ft with Surprise Lake
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.