My sis and her husband planned a trip to West Clear Creek to get some people from church involved. When it was clear none of those people would show, we figured we'd plan it for ourselves. We decided instead of dropping in at White Box like we've done a few times before and just hike/tubing to the Hanging Gardens, we searched around for another way into the very steep creek canyon to hike all of our stuff straight down to the them. We knew a route existed at some point but could find no other info other than word of mouth that there probably was one and a trip report from a guy who boasted how secret he kept the trailhead even to the point of removing all cairns and other traces. Going off just his arrogant written description of the journey, we drove out with Google Earth's help to the area we suspected may get us on track. We found some old rock disturbances and followed them to what appeared to be a foot traveled path down a steep section and then out onto a ridge. After loosing the trail for a while, Jonathan picked it up again and away we went into an odd meadow, wrapping around the other side to bushwacking and another steep descent. We finally got down to the water we could see easily from above (via the mentioned dirt chute) only to find a group of 3 camped there already. The leader of their group gave us the "Who are you and how'd you find this place?" rundown reminiscent of run-ins with secretive cave people. It turns out, this guy was our other source as we had met him 2 years ago on the same weekend near there, and he was the word of mouth that told us there was a route there. I haven't confirmed whether he was also the boastful trip report writer but it wouldn't surprise me.
Anyway we got along fine and they were only staying one more night so we set up our tents right around the corner from them on the limited space knowing we would be closer to the waterfalls after they left.
Jonathan took forever landscaping the perfect spot for his and Dana's huge tent but in the end it was worth it. We hung out for a while until bed time discussing our frolicking and downstream plans for Sunday. Before bed, I found a flat rock in the middle of the creek and laid there with my legs soaking, rushing water playing in stereo beside me, and all the stars you couldn't count if you tried above.
The next day, we saw our neighbors off, moved our setup and then hiked down creek with our tubes and dry sacks. We explored around a little past the one mile mark until we'd had enough and then returned to camp for a late lunch. We then swam around the waterfall and Dana set out fishing. The clouds finally brought us some real rain and we retreated to our tents for about 30min then Dana resumed her fishing and Jonathan and I manned some chairs, tables, and ottomans from rock and earth. Sis ended up catching a fish for each of us for dinner, a medium rainbow and a couple small browns. We stayed up until we just about passed out tired and then tented ourselves in to fall asleep to the rush of the spring and falls; At some point it rained again briefly.
The next day we took down camp and then goofed around for a goodish amount of time in and on the water before hiking out. It was sad to leave our little spot and the cool creek to face the elevation change before us. We made it out in much better time now that we knew the route for sure. We loaded up the X and drove the hour-long horribly bumpy road out and home- after Beeline Cafe malts of course.
I get the "let's not tell people about this spot," thing (note I didn't post my GPS route) but not the later in the journey cairn knocking. If people are set enough to take this harder/longer
trail down with all of their camp gear, you can generally rule them out as cooler toting ne'erdowells and the non-trailhead cairns become more route safety than flashing billboards.