In May 2020, we went on a road trip during the uncertainty of Covid. It was an interesting adventure and part of our goal was to see as many waterfalls along the way as possible, partially to avoid being indoors during that time.
We were passing through Kansas and Kansas has a number of smaller waterfalls that are often affected by manmade structures. It can be “tricky” to figure out which falls in Kansas are natural or mostly natural. There’s Geary Lake Falls near Manhattan (the Kansas one). I think that might be mostly natural, but a product of damming a lake. Deep Creek Falls is northeast of Geary Lake Falls. And Deep Creek Falls, while not tall, is actually an interesting, impressive, non-manmade waterfall.
Deep Creek Falls is found in the Pillsbury Crossing Wildlife Area. It’s a bit of a drive out in rural Kansas. The way that we were approaching the wildlife area, the suggested directions said that we should cross Deep Creek if we had an appropriate vehicle. Well, we had an SUV, but decided it was not wise to cross the creek as it was had a significant amount of water. We parked on one side of the river and then did wade through the creek to the other side of creek and back to Pillsbury Crossing Lane.
The waterfall, while only 4′ tall or so, is probably 60′ wide, so it’s a more impressive waterfall in terms of width. I found that crossing the river to the other side of the road didn’t produce the best views/photographs of the falls, but instead wading toward the crest of the falls was more useful for capturing the essence of the falls. The falls/crossing is a popular location for people to get out and enjoy the sunshine, but also cool down.
- The easiest way to approach the falls from any direction is to end up on Deep Creek Road (Road 911). You can get to Deep Creek Road from I-70/US-40 exit 316 or driving from Fairmont on KS-177 and then turning on Deep Creek Road.
- If you’re coming from Fairmont, Deep Creek Road kind of turns into Pillsbury Crossing Road. If you’re approaching from the south, take a right onto Pillsbury Crossing Road.
- Drive about 2 miles until you reach Deep Creek. You can park on either side of the river, and you may be able to cross the river if it isn’t too deep or if you have a car with high suspension. You don’t need to cross the river to view the falls. It may be wise to bring water shoes or another pair of socks.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: roadside (well, it breaks up the road lol)
Where in the World is Deep Creek Falls?