3-31-07 - Bard Falls is one of the new additions to Kevin Adams' waterfall guide. It's a beautiful spot and easy to get to. I wish I had known about it sooner!
Directions: Get yourself to FR464 by one of the ways I describe on the main Wilson Creek page. If you come in from the Parkway at MP 311, once you get on FR464, drive 2.5 miles to the right turn for FR58. There are a couple of drive up primitive campsites here. Stay straight on FR464 and drive and additional 3.2 miles to a small parking area on the right for Trail #266A. If you come in via the Mortimer Recreation Area, drive 3-3.5 miles on FR464 and the parking area will be on the left. I didn't get an exact mileage, but look for the parking for Hunt Fish Falls on the right at around 3 miles or so. Bard Falls parking is 1/2 a mile past that.
Trail #266A heads gradually downhill from the parking area for a mile and dead ends into the North Harper Creek Trail, Trail #266. Turn left here and follow this easy trail down North Harper Creek. At just over 1/4 mile from this turn, the trail crosses the creek. Most of the time this will be a wet crossing, but it's not too deep. The more steady of you rock hoppers may be able to make it across on some small rocks just up creek from the crossing. If it's a hot day, you might just want to take a dip here before continuing. From here, it's less than 1/2 a mile to the top of the 30' Bard Falls. There are several cascades and swimming holes along the way, but most require a slippery scramble down to them. This section of the trail is particularly pretty with the creek on the left and stone and rock walls to the right. At the top of the falls, you can get out on the rock for a view below.
There are 2 large pot holes in the rock next to the waterfall. One is deep and had a dry bottom on our visit. The other goes all the way through the rock near the base of the falls. On a dry day, you can scoot down that rock from where Bobbie is sitting if you have grippy footwear. If this looks too steep, continue down the trail passing a wet area where people have scrambled down and look for a less steep drainage area that will take you to the nice pool below the waterfall.
Bobbie and I headed to this area for the day with plans to stop at 2-3 waterfalls. Bard Falls was our first stop. We both liked it so much we spent about 3 hours here. I suspect that on a warm summer day this is a popular place. The pool at the bottom is a nice swimming hole and there are some nice rocks to hang out on. If you look at the map you can see several possibilities for backpacking or day hiking that include this beautiful waterfall.
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