Tucked into a narrow canyon south of Strawberry Valley, through miles of roadless terrain, is Willow Creek. This drainage is loaded with trails that run the length of the ten-mile canyon and criss-cross the side canyons that drain into Willow Creek. The area is a favorite with horseback riders. Trails are not heavily maintained and route finding may be required in some areas, making this an intermediate to advanced ride. An added point of interest at the south end trailhead is a historic Forest Service guard station, complete with outbuildings and a spring. Built in 1931, this is one of the few remaining intact structures of its kind. The Willow Creek trail follows the creek where willows dot the banks, surrounded by a desert landscape of shale and sage. Several side canyon trails intersect Willow Creek trail: Buffalo Canyon trail 4 miles from the guard station is similar terrain and vegetation; Road Hollow trail is 5.75 miles from the guard station; French Hollow trail 6.75 miles from the guard station is steep and forested.
Willow Creek Canyon is accessible from several trailheads. Two of the easiest accesses are at the Willow Creek Guard Station with plenty of parking and Buffalo Canyon where parking is somewhat limited. To reach these trailheads, turn south from US Hwy 40 in Strawberry Valley at the Strawberry Visitor Center, 23 miles southeast of Heber City. Follow this paved road 14 miles around the reservoir to Renegade boat ramp where the road turns to dirt. Continue on this road, Forest Road #079, over the ridge approximately seven miles to the green and white guard station on the left. The trail descends into Willow Creek behind the guard station. To reach Buffalo Canyon, the directions are the same onto Forest Road #079. Approximately six miles from the paved road, turn left on Forest Road #221 into Buffalo Canyon and travel a half-mile to the dead end and the trailhead. For detailed maps and more information about this area, contact the Heber Ranger District office, just southeast of Heber City on US Hwy 40, at 435-654-0470.