An old double track goes from Tranquille Crossing (on the Tranquille Criss Creek Road) to the confluence area where Watching Creek meets the Tranquille River. Both the river and the creek feature canyons with rugged cliffs and fall colors. The double track down the side of the river is a moderate hike of 2.5 km each way. We hiked down to the confluence then explored the south side of Watching Creek, and looped back over to the east rim of Tranquille River Canyon. .
At the end of the double track an informal trail drops down to the creek. We crossed on a makeshift bridge of boards and boulders. In spring this is a more difficult crossing.
We enjoyed exploring upstream on an old trail used mostly by gold panners and prospectors. The trail braided out into game trails only on sidehills so we climbed a ridge to a viewpoint for lunch. On the way back down, we spotted this old homestead building, probably used as a barn or storage enclosure. There was a registered homestead on the other side of the river about a hundred years ago so it may have been part of that quarter section.
We hiked down a trail that skirts the rim of the canyon where there are colorful cliffs, hoodoos, and the river running below. In spring, the river runs fast with many rapids and small falls.
The trail runs along the rim for about 2 km, descending down to the river at the end. There was once a footbridge across the river there, but it was washed away decades ago. We hiked along the rim and back on this day in October.
On our way back we hiked down an eroded old double track that wound down to the river. There was once a user-constructed bridge down there used by miners and gold panners to freight ore out to the road. We had also crossed that bridge in the 1970s to do a loop route, but it too has been washed away. Fall colors makes this a nice spot next to the river.
We have hiked this area every year for 43 years now and we hope to go back to snowshoe it this winter.