MADERA COUNTY - The sound of rushing water lures you onto the Lewis Creek Trail. This scenic spot isn't far off Highway 41 but it feels like a path to paradise.
"It really is a hidden gem of our area. It's one of the most popular trails for us locals," said Judy Hussain, Visit Yosemite Madera County.
We started our hike near Sugar Pine; the winter rain has brought this part of the Sierra National Forest to life. The trail was mostly deserted except for a couple of US Forest Service workers.
"We have a nice flow of water so you can appreciate the waterfalls. The trail's nice and open. It's a beautiful hike," said Wes Stanley, US Forest Service.
And the trail is a relatively short one to reach Red Rock Falls. The heavy snowmelt pouring out helps make you forget about the record heat we've been dealing with.
"I don't know if I've ever seen any of these waterfalls as full as they are this year. I've been here 26 years," said Hussain.
The water may look refreshing but Hussain and Therese Williams of Visit Yosemite Madera County say you should stay out of the swollen creek.
"It looks wonderful. It's all sparkly and we want to go for a swim but really be cautious, there's current there," said Williams.
It's best to enjoy the sights from a safe distance.
About 1.7 miles from Red Rock Falls you will find another waterfall which takes your breath away-- Corlieu Falls. The falls offer the big payoff to what can be a challenging hike.
"I like feeling the mist up there on that little deck. Right there you can feel the mist," said Stanley.
You spend most of your time in the shade, but you will need plenty of bug repellent and water because the elevation and warmth can take its toll.
"This hike has everything. It has water, plenty of water. It has greenery. It has color," said Hussain.
Visitors who don't want to venture into Yosemite have found the Lewis Creek Trail to be the perfect getaway.
Flooding and fallen trees have made parts of the Lewis Creek Trail difficult to cross. To be safe we suggest using the Highway 41 trailhead just to see Corlieu Falls and use the Sugar Pine trailhead to Red Rock Falls.
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