Lake Blanche Falls, Utah

Lake Blanche Falls in May 2013

Let me start by saying that I believe there are more waterfalls that could be classified as Lake Blanche Falls. This is the easiest and closest to the start of the Lake Blanche trail head in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The trail continues on for a ways, and climbs in elevation. Searches for Lake Blanche Falls indicate there might be taller falls along this trail.

This smaller waterfall is easily visited in Big Cottonwood Canyon. I visited last May, and there were still flurries at that time. Luckily, the main road wasn’t closed. One of the roads leading to Doughnut Falls, a very popular waterfall, was still closed, so I turned around. Hidden Falls, a really beautiful waterfall, is in one parking area along a S-curve in the road. In another parking area across the road is the start of the Lake Blanche trailhead. I wasn’t feeling particularly great, and didn’t wish to hike for a long time. I still wanted to see what was in the area, though, and so I hiked a short distance along this trail. I stopped once I saw some water flowing. The trail started going uphill at this point where the waterfall/cascades could be found.

I’m not sure that I’d go out of my way to see just this waterfall. As I’ve mentioned, though, Hidden Falls and Doughnut Falls are both close by. I also believe that on a warmer day, the hike along the Lake Blanche trailhead could be very enjoyable.

Directions:

  1. Head east on UT-190 (Cottonwood Canyon Road). You will enter the National Forest.
  2. Just past mile-marker 6 (which is not 6 miles along the path, but instead 4 miles or so), there is a S-shaped curve. There are two parking areas on the right side of the road. They are somewhat easy to miss at first!
  3. Park in the first parking lot. (The second leads to Hidden Falls.) From there, head east along the Lake Blanche trail, which hugs Big Cottonwood Creek. After a short distance, you should find this waterfall.

Accessibility: 10/10 (very easy hike to the falls)
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Lake Blanche Falls?

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“Doubly” Hidden Falls, Minnesota

“Doubly” Hidden Falls in October 2011

Mid-October might not be the best time to go searching for waterfalls in Minnesota, but sometimes the decision to visit a place is spontaneous. I had relatively good luck seeing Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, but less luck with Minnemishinona and Minneopa falls further south. I still had some time, so I decided to find one of the lesser known waterfalls in the area, Hidden Falls. It is found in Nerstrand Big Woods State Park.

The hike to the falls was rather enjoyable, and I’ll tell you more about the actual Hidden Falls in a separate post some other time. The water was lower here too, but the scenery was beautiful. I was having fun photographing the falls. Since the water was lower, I could actually walk down the creek bed. I stumbled upon this smaller waterfall, which I dubbed “Doubly” Hidden Falls. It is more hidden than Hidden Falls. I’m not sure if you’d be able to view it when the snow is melting or after a significant amount of rain, but I bet it could look pretty impressive. I thought it had a certain amount of charm to it, even with the lower flow level.

Directions:

  1. The entrance to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is some miles northeast of Faribault and just west of the village of Nerstrand. There are multiple different ways to arrive at the entrance, so I would suggest looking at a map or use a GPS to better determine the path you take.
  2. The entrance to the park is off of 170th Street E. If you are headed east, the entrance will be on your left.
  3. There is a parking area near the entrance, and then the trail leads to Hidden Falls. If I remember correctly, the signage is pretty clear and I didn’t have any difficulty finding Hidden Falls.
  4. If possible (using caution), walk a little ways downstream to see if you can find “Doubly” Hidden Falls.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 5′
Length of Hike: 1.1 miles round-trip

Where in the World is “Doubly” Hidden Falls?

Hidden Falls, Utah

Hidden Falls in May 2013

I planned on visiting the Salt Lake City area in late May, but due to work rescheduled to early May. I wondered whether snow at higher elevations would have any effect on finding waterfalls. Well, there is still snow, and there were flurries as I was driving to some of the higher elevations. Nothing too bad, though!

I was trying to find Donut Falls, but you’ll have to find out about that elsewhere. The road to the falls was blocked off.  I probably could have walked the extra mile to the trail head, but really had no wish to do that in the snow. Instead, I looked up some other waterfalls that were along the same road.

There are a number of waterfalls along UT-190. Hidden Falls is by far one of the easiest to find, easiest to visit, and just plain impressive. It’s a really stunning waterfall. A mine is right next to the falls, and there are also wood crates in the creek that lead to hidden coves. Hidden Falls is definitely worthwhile visiting!

Directions:

  1. Head east on UT-190 (Cottonwood Canyon Road).  You will enter the National Forest.
  2. Just past mile-marker 6 (which is not 6 miles along the path, but instead 4 miles or so), there is a S-shaped curve. There are two parking areas on the right side of the road. They are somewhat easy to miss at first! The second parking area, Mill B North Fork, is where you want to park.
  3. Follow the trail uphill and across UT-190.
  4. You will be able to see the falls, but it can be a little confusing.  Head up the obvious trail for just a few feet, and then veer left along a trail toward the creek. Don’t follow the trail that follows the road. And definitely don’t try to climb the trail that goes uphill. It’s way to complicated and steep!
  5. Follow the left trail along the creek a very short distance to the falls. If you feel like you’re exerting way too much energy, then it’s not the right path!

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 25′
Length of Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Hidden Falls?

Hidden Falls, Minnesota

Hidden Falls in mid-October 2011

I arrived in Minneapolis yesterday, and have been exploring the area. It must be pretty dry around the area currently, as a number of the waterfalls I’ve visited have had very low flow. Oh well, it was a very enjoyable day, so I can’t complain too much.

Hidden Falls is the first waterfall I visited in the area. I didn’t have much difficulty getting to Hidden Falls Park, but I did have a bit of difficulty finding the falls themselves. There’s no sign that clearly directs you to the falls. One set of directions I read about afterwards would have led me in a different direction that I expected. Once I found the falls, they reminded me of other areas where the falls have a lot of remnants of human touches. The falls in the area are much more urbanized than the Minnesota waterfalls along the North Shore.

Directions:

  1. The entrance to Hidden Falls Park is directly off of Magoffin Avenue.
  2. As you enter the park, you’ll head downhill for a distance.  Park at the first parking area you see.  There are other parking areas that lead you to the Mississippi River.
  3. You’ll know you’re in the right place if you see a set of three or four buildings/”gazebos”.
  4. The most obvious trail does not lead you to the falls.  Instead, the trail to the falls is hidden behind those buildings, and there is no sign indicating the trail to the falls.
  5. Walk behind the buildings, and you should see a wide trail leading to the falls.  There should be a lot of rock walls as you head toward the falls.

Accessiblity: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Hidden Falls?