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Lava Creek Trailhead

Lava Creek Trail is an 8.4-mile (13.5 km) out-and-back trail that begins with a steep descent into Gardner Canyon. At .7-miles it crosses the Gardner River via a footbridge at a flat section of the river. This is a good place to do some fishing for the rainbow, brown, cutthroat, and brook trout. From here the trail continues south following the river until it reaches the confluence with Lava Creek where it veers east up the canyon. You will see the Gardner Canyon Bridge as it crosses over the canyon about 200 feet above the river.

At this point in your hike the trail begins a steady upward climb until reaching Undine Falls. The falls are the result of Lava Creek spilling over the cliff face of a basalt lava flow in a stair-step waterfall dropping 60-feet. The name of the falls changed a few times during the early years until 1885, when geologist Arnold Hague dubbed it Undine, named for wise water spirits from German mythology who lived near waterfalls.

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