waterfall #1 on lower Thompson River
8-4-07 First, let me start out by saying Harry found a ring at this waterfall on our August 2007 trip. It's a woman's ring and has a very cool design. I'm betting somebody was really bummed when they realized they had lost this ring. Email me with a description if you think it's yours.
I believe I first heard about this waterfall early on from MountainWizard. You may have read about his family's adventures in this area online. He calls it Simon's Falls after his son. Kevin Adams calls it waterfall #1 on the lower Thompson River. My first visit was in 2006 when Harry and I were investigating another waterfall on a tributary of the Thompson. We went back in August 2007 when we went to the base of waterfall #2 first, then headed up river to this one. There's an easier way, but it still requires a river crossing.
These directions are from the parking area on Brewer Rd at Hwy 281 south. They are basically the same as the ones to Big Falls, revised for this falls. Hike up the old gated logging road as if you were going to High Falls. Not too far in is a more overgrown road/path to the left. Do not take this left. Stay straight on the main road/path until it comes to the river at just under 1 1/4 miles. It usually takes us around 1/2 hour to get to this point. This road narrows to a single path over red clay at one point along the way, then widens back out. You will have heard the waterfall on Reid Branch off to the left then passed the side trail to High Falls. After this side trail, the road descends and switchbacks towards the river. Cross the river the best way you can. Remember I said you would probably have to get your feet wet. If the water levels are way up, the water will be very swift and deadly. This usually only happens after very heavy rains. Some heavy thunderstorms can create flash floods, so beware! Once you cross the river, keep following the logging road which is the main trail.
There are a few primitive campsites on the left side of the trail after you cross the river. Less than 1/2 mile past the river crossing is the side path down to the base of waterfall #1. On my August 2007 trip, this path was fairly obvious and marked with flagging tape. I guess more people are going since Kevin's book came out. The flagging tape may not be there, but you'll hear and maybe catch a glimpse of the waterfall. The trail down is easy to follow once you find it. It's very steep but there are trees to hold on to. You'll come out on the rock area shown in the above photo. It's a good place just to hang out. Don't get too close to the edge of the pool! It drops off steeply and is very deep. You'll go completely under water if you slip in. The water is very cold, but the pool was safe enough to swim in on this day. We got in at the down river end and swam back to the falls to clown around a little.
In the above photo, I have my feet braced up against the opposite rock and am leaning against the waterfall rock so I don't go under from the force of the water. I can't touch bottom here, so be careful if you decide to swim here.
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