Anderson Falls in August 2014
I was searching through photos from travels in past Augusts, and was reminded of a number of waterfalls I saw on a visit to Alaska. I’m always a bit surprised at how difficult it can be to find information about waterfalls in Alaska. There are some waterfalls that are very commonly advertised, but there are other impressive falls that are less so.
If you search for Anderson Falls, you’ll find a few hits, but sparse information. And yet Anderson Fall is one of the tallest (easily visited?) waterfalls in the state. Based on the terrain, there are many more that are just too inaccessible to visit. And in terms of “easily visited”, it does require a boat ride. Luckily, there are a number of fjord and glacier cruise tours that leave from Valdez and will pass right by this waterfall.
From my guesstimate, it seems that the falls are at least 600′ tall, possibly more. There are two portions to the falls, the top plunge drop, followed by the lower cascades. The falls continue even more as they meet the shoreline. It’s a really impressive sight, and one that I wasn’t particularly expecting!
- In this case, the most “difficult” part is getting to Valdez. I flew into Anchorage, and it was 5 hour drive to Valdez. (There are flights on prop jets into Valdez.)
- After arriving and seeing some of the other waterfalls in Valdez, I hopped on one of the boat cruises (Lu-Lu Belle or Stan Stephens, I don’t remember which), and took the cruise to see the falls, glaciers, and wildlife! It’s definitely worth it!
Accessibility: 10/10 (Easy)
Height: 600′ +
Length of Hike: Not applicable
Where in the World is Anderson Falls?
Toketee Falls in August 2013
Oregon has so many beautiful waterfalls, and Toketee Falls is another one to add to the list. I flew into Eugene five years ago, with the goal of visiting Crater Lake National Park. There are a number of falls in the park, but there are also many falls along the way to the park. Toketee Falls was one of those stops along the way back to Eugene.
I thought the hike to Toketee Falls was a bit longer than it actually is…goes to show what happens in five years. At 0.75 miles round-trip, it’s a pretty quick jaunt to the falls and back. I don’t remember it being a difficult hike, though I do recall that there were some stairs that led down to a viewing area. The viewing area has a somewhat steep drop near it which made me a bit dizzy (as someone who’s not a fan of heights). I have read that some people have made it to the base of the falls, but it’s something I would in no way attempt. I’m not that brave! You are a bit of a distance from the falls, so it might be wise to bring a zoom lens. It will also allow you to get some better shots of the fascinating basalt columns surrounding the falls.
- Toketee Falls is off of OR-138, which runs east-west between I-5 and US-97. It’s somewhat closer to US-97 than I-5.
- The turn for the falls will be near mile marker 58 (58 miles from Roseburg on I-5). There will be a sign for Toketee Falls.
- If you’re headed east, you would turn left onto NF-34/Toketee-Rigdon Road.
- After a short distance, you’ll turn left to head to a parking area for the falls. The trail starts here (and heads west).
Accessibility: 9/10 (Easy)
Length of Hike: 0.75 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Toketee Falls?
Mount Magazine Cascades in March 2011
My experience with Mount Magazine was pretty interesting. I have to admit that I’m not even sure how I ended up at Mt Magazine in the first place. Most of the waterfalls in Arkansas are in the north of the state. Mt Magazine Cascades (and Falls) are closer to the center of the state (though still a bit west). I wasn’t having much luck finding impressive waterfalls further north, so maybe I decided to head to somewhere more unconventional…
Mount Magazine is the tallest point in the state, so it’s not surprising that this could lead to waterfalls. The drive to the state park is up a winding road and it was beautiful. It was rather foggy, though. It made it a bit difficult to see where the falls might be.
I do remember wandering around for a bit. I don’t know if I officially found the Cascades or the Falls found in the “Arkansas Waterfall Guidebook” by Tim Ernst. I believe I led myself astray for a bit, and then somehow stumbled upon some falling water. (I do think I found the cascades, though they weren’t as photogenic as I expected…but that was due to different water levels.) After not much other luck, I called the search awash. It was luckier than some of the other searches I was having in Arkansas, a few of which I just completely gave up.
- Head to Mount Magazine State Park. You’ll follow AR-309 (Mount Magazine Scenic Byway) to get there.
- Turn onto Mount Magazine Road. This will lead you up to the circular road around the summit.
- At the Brown Springs Picnic area, follow the trail to the Cascades. (I don’t remember this part very much.)
Accessibility: 8/10 (Easy/Moderate)
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip
Where in the World is Mount Magazine Cascades?
I often don’t write about waterfalls until years after I’ve visited them. I try to hit a variety of different geographical regions along the way, but in the process I often forget about some waterfalls, at least certain details. I remember a bit about Pikes Falls, but other aspects are a bit fuzzy.
I visited in July 2015, and stayed near Stratton Mountain. It’s a beautiful area, though a bit quiet during the summer. On the way out, I had a few waterfalls on my list including Pikes Falls and Hamilton Falls. This was my first stop, as it’s not far from Stratton Mountain. The directions that others give are what tend to throw me off, as I approached it from the opposite direction. I remember the road being narrow but quiet, and I don’t remember there being much difficulty finding the parking area for the falls. I don’t recall much of the surroundings, nor the very short hike. (Sometimes short hikes are nice, but they stick in my head less than the tedious hikes!)
The falls are smaller, though there are definitely a number of different views to be had. Since the hike is easy and short, it’s worth your while to stop if you’re in the area. Otherwise, there are other larger falls in the area. Many people seem to enjoy this waterfall for the pool below, perfect for swimming.
- From VT-100 in Jamaica, turn left on Pikes Falls Road.
- Drive for approximately 2.5 miles. You’ll then veer right over a bridge, staying on Pikes Falls Road.
- After another 2.5 miles, you’ll come to the parking area. It would be on the left if heading west. (There is also apparently a white house very close by, though I don’t recall this.)
- Follow the trail to the falls.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 20′ (total drop)
Length of Hike: 0.15 miles round-trip
Pikes Falls in July 2015
Where in the World is Pikes Falls?
I had to do a bit of mental recall about Doane’s Falls in central Massachusetts, since I visited it three years ago and don’t distinctly remember all of the aspects of the falls. I posted about Upper Doane’s Falls soon after visiting, which helps remind me about a few things, but it’s still a bit fuzzy.
There are three main drops associated with Doane’s Falls, and this is the second. From my previous record, it seems that it can be difficult to photograph the second falls as there is a metal barrier that prevents exploration to get a better view. I’m fine with that, but it may explain why I’ve zoomed in so much on the falls and there’s not much view of the surroundings.
The hike to the falls does involve a bit of elevation loss (followed by elevation gain on the way back). The hike to see all three falls is relatively short at 0.6 miles round-trip.
- From MA-2/US-202 heading west, take exit 18 heading north toward MA-2A. (Heading east, exit 17 may be easier.)
- Turn left onto MA-2A, which at some point combines with MA-32.
- Take this into the town of Athol. Once in Athol, take a right on MA-32 to continue heading north.
- Quickly after turning onto MA-32, take a right onto Chestnut Hill Avenue. (This will be shortly after crossing the bridge over Millers River.
- Drive along Chestnut Hill Avenue (which may change names to Athol Road at some point) for a few miles.
- You will come up to Doane Hill Road. Just before you would turn left onto Doane Hill Road (heading toward Tully Lake), you’ll find the small parking area clearly signed for Doane’s Falls.
- From the parking area, you’ll take a short hike to the Upper Falls.
Accessibility: 9/10 (Easy)
Distance of Hike: 0.6 mile round trip (for all three falls)
Middle Doane’s Falls in July 2015
Where in the World is Middle Doane’s Falls?
The lower drop of Christine Falls in July 2018
During the 4th of July weekend, I had the chance to visit Mount Rainier National Park, which I would absolutely suggest doing. It’s another stunning national park to add to the list if you haven’t already. One of the benefits of Mount Rainier…a lot of waterfalls!
Mount Rainier is over 14000′ in elevation, and if you consider that much of that elevation change happens over a relatively short distance from sea level, it leads to a lot of chances to find waterfalls. There are a number of marked waterfalls on the main map, but there are many others that you can find along the way. One of the first waterfalls you might encounter is Christine Falls. It’s essentially a roadside waterfall you’ll come across along one of the main roadways in the park. It’s taller than it appears in this photograph, but one part of the drop is at an angle hidden behind a rock. You can view the upper portion of the falls from the road. The road is narrow, though, so you have to careful if you want to view the upper portion.
The main thing that has kept me from visiting Mount Rainier until this point…the weather. The other times I have visited Washington have been earlier in the year, generally. This is not the ideal time to visit much of the park, as many of the roadways and trails will be covered in snow. Even in early July, a number of the trails at Paradise were STILL covered with feet of snow, though the outdoor temperatures were very comfortable. You still maybe able to visit some of the lower elevation waterfalls, but it’s a better bet to show up in the summer months. (Of course, you then run into more people…)
- We entered the park on WA-706 heading east (at the Nisqually Entrance).
- You will pass the National Park Inn and Longmire Museum, and after a few more miles and switchbacks, you will pass the trail head for Comet Falls. Comet Falls is on the same creek, but is at a higher elevation and requires a longer hike (which I didn’t attempt).
- Shortly after passing that trail head, you’ll cross a bridge where you may notice the upper portion of the falls. After this, there is a parking area on your right.
- From this parking area, there is a very short downhill hike that leads to the view shown in this pictures.
Accessibility: 9/10 (Easy)
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip (essentially roadside)
Where in the World is Christine Falls?
Upper Ho’opi’i Falls in July 2015
I’m honestly a bit torn about what to say about Ho’opi’i Falls. It’s a bit confusing about whether you can access the falls or not, though recent searches seem to indicate that many people are still visiting the falls. So why the confusion?
Searches for Ho’opi’i Falls are unclear about whether falls are on private property or owned by the state. (An article about the closure no longer exists…) If anyone definitively knows more, feel free to leave a comment. I know that when I visited in 2015, it was a bit confusing about where to start the hike. I was following a guidebook (that is known to lead people to places they shouldn’t necessarily be), and it mentioned a fence. Well, the start of the hike, was not at the obvious fence, but a less obvious set of metal posts. I think what has happened is that many people were starting at the wrong place and crossing private property. There are some interesting comments if you look around online.
So it seems that as long as you stay on a designated trail, there aren’t any major issues. Follow any signs and closures. If open, you’ll find two separate waterfalls. I’ve decided to post both of them here instead of creating unique entries. The first falls upstream was very busy and a number of locals were jumping off the falls. It made a bit hard to capture the falls without someone in the way. The second falls downstream required a bit of downhill hiking, but was more isolated. (Jumping there would have caused serious injury.) Both drops are scenic in their own ways.
- I’ll let you find the directions to this one another way just in case there’s an issue. You can see on the map below the general location of the falls.
Accessibility: 8/10 (Easy/Moderate), some sites seem to mention this being difficult…apparently I didn’t think so…
Height: Upper Falls 15′, Lower Falls 30′
Length of Hike: 2.2 miles round-trip
Lower Ho’opi’i Falls
Where in the World is Ho’opi’i Falls?