Watching Ken Burn’s amazing documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea on PBS the last few nights I have seen a lot of majestic waterfalls. It made me think about waterfalls we’ve visited over the years. While we have great National Parks in the southwest, because of the arid climate, waterfalls tend to be smaller. But wherever I am, if there’s a waterfall, the sound of rushing water draws me. I love sitting next to falling water and listening to the sound it makes and take in the powerful energy it generates. Here are five waterfalls we’ve encountered in our travels. These days, because I don’t hike too much, I get to see the ones close to the road and Steve , camera in hand, hike off the see the ones that require some strenuous walking.
Little Chasm Falls a little over an hour’s hike up the Rio en Medio Trail a bit past Tesuque (north of Santa Fe). The area is, according to Karen Denison of Santa Fe’s Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing at the flanks of Deception Peak/Lake Peak area. She notes that the area is actually named “Aspen Basin”, but warns not to confuse it with the parking area at Aspen Basin Road. Steve took the hike with our son and his family this summer. They all loved it and returned with great photos and lasting memories.
We stopped at Jemez Falls (part of the Santa Fe National Forest) on the way home from a trip to Valles Caldera after the Las Conchas Fire in 2011. It was a beautiful October Day and it was a bit eerie driving through the burn scar. Fire jumps. One part of the landscape is untouched, then you’ll get to an area where there’s charring and then you’ll encounter total devastation. It’s a lot for the senses to take in. A way down NM 4, beyond the Las Conchas area, we saw the sign for the falls and pulled in. We don’t pass up waterfalls! Steve hiked down and came back with this great shot. Sadly, because of the Thompson Ridge Fire in June 2013, the falls are temporarily closed. Check with the Santa Fe National Forest before going. Meanwhile, you can enjoy Steve’s photo.
We spotted Hayes Creek Falls from the road as we were driving between Paonia and Redstone on our way to Aspen in late spring. We had to stop. A short walk in takes you right up to the falls. It’s worth the stop!
Neither of us got to Bridal Veil Falls about 305 feet above Telluride, but they were beautiful from the distance. We just missed the sound of the cascading water.
Driving up Route 1 in Big Sur, stop and visit McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The fall drops about 84 feet to the beach on the shores of the Pacific Ocean below. We hope to get to Big Sur again when we travel to California in October.
If you know any easily accessible water falls on the Oregon or Northern California coast, let us know. We’ll bring back some photos to share.
This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by members of our Boomer Travel Bloggers Facebook group. The topic for September is “Fall,” interpreted anyway the writer chooses. Read other “fall” posts here.