Sipsey Wilderness Day Hike

Total Distance: 4.13 km (2.6 mi)
Total Time: 2:29:39
Moving Time: 30:44
Average Speed: 1.66 km/h (1.0 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 8.07 km/h (5.0 mi/h)
Max Speed: 10.53 km/h (6.5 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 150 m (492 ft)
Max Elevation: 221 m (726 ft)
Elevation Gain: 305 m (999 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Sun Jun 05 11:44:14 CDT 2011

My kids and I headed to Sipsey Wilderness today for a nice little day hike which was to include a river crossing and ending with lunch at the Falls Creek Falls Waterfall before heading back out. As can be seen from the stats above, the hike is about 1.3 miles one way with very little elevation change. Temperatures were in the low to mid 90’s and sunny skies. However, the sun never really bothered us so much since most of this trail is under the cover of the many trees. But that’s not to say it still wasn’t hot!

We arrived and found a few other people with swimming toys playing down in the river and I immediately noticed how dried up the river looked. I began to wonder if our river crossing would be a crossing at all… So, I pulled on my pack and handed the kids their drink and then off we went. At the Sipsey Trailhead, the trail begins underneath the bridge which is the road we take to get there. We stopped under the bridge and took a group shot.And then we hiked on… The trail follows the river for a little ways before the trail actually cuts across the river. At times the trail will split, always leading back into one another. The lower trail which stays closer to the river is quite sandy as if on a beach, where as the high trail is more of a “traditional” trail; hard packed dirt with protruding rocks and roots. I let the kids lead and decide which trail to take so we had a nice mixture of both.Once we arrived at the trail head for 209, I realized that the river is indeed pretty dry. There were simply a few stones laid out so that the river could easily be walked across without hardly getting our feet wet. No need for the sandals I was carrying…After we crossed we stayed on the trail. Occasionally we would take a short side trail and follow it to the canyon walls. There were small caves and large bluffs we found and just hung around in for a little while before continuing on. Well, just as I was expecting, my daughter asked if we were almost at the waterfalls. Good thing that we really were almost there!Once we arrived at the waterfalls, I made a spot on top of a large rock near the almost dried up waterfall and began cooking our Ramen Noodles (what an experience). As I sat cooking, the kids ran back and forth around and behind the waterfall until I called them in for lunch. We sat and ate and enjoyed our surrounding. Once we finished eating, the kids jumped up and played some more while I cleaned up and got everything packed back up.Yep, then we headed back. The trip out was the same as the trip in, only backwards…

Here are some video clips from the hike:

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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4 Responses to Sipsey Wilderness Day Hike

  1. Tara says:

    Hey! I’m taking some scouts up there and would like to do this hike, where does the trail start? Are there camping sites nearby that we could put tents up? thanks!!


    • Stick says:


      There are a number of trail heads. On all but one time that I have been up there I always started at the Sipsey Trailhead. There is a nice large parking area to park plenty of cars, but this parking area requires a daily fee, but at $3 per car/per day it is not bad. There is also a fully enclosed restroom at the trail head.

      The trail (200) begins by going under the bridge and follows the river. The trail will split and there is a high trail and a low trail but they are very close together and they both come out at the same place. At somewhere around a half mile down the trail, 209 goes left and 200 keeps going straight. You can go down the embankment and cross the river and continue on (209) and this trail will take you to the Fall Creek Falls waterfall and farther along to Bee Branch. If you keep going straight down 200 for another mile or so (if my memory serves correctly, but it is not far at all) you will cross through a small ditch/gully that drains into the river. Just on the other side of this is a nice large open (flat) area with a fire ring that would handle quite a few tents. This area would make a great base camp. Continuing down this trail will take you to Fat Man Squeeze and some other nice sights.

      Check out the November 26 – 29th Sipsey trip for a write up and some pictures of this area.

      Hope this helps some. If you have any more questions, let me know!



  2. Jason says:

    What kind of app/system do you use for keeping track of your distance and time on the trail?


    • Stick says:


      That is the My Tracks app I use on my android phone. I don’t use it a whole lot, but on short hikes that I don’t expect to be out on for more than about 4 hours I will turn it on. It is actually a pretty neat way to keep up with my hikes, however, it also drains my phone battery pretty quickly!



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