waterfall #2 on lower Thompson River
8-4-07 Harry and I found this waterfall back before I moved up to the mountains. My guess is in 2000 because the above photo is a film scan and I got my 1st digital camera in 2001. Anyhow, we were inexperienced waterfall junkies at the time and were trying to follow the directions to Big Falls in Kevin Adams 1st waterfall guide. We went down the bank too soon - at an area I've mentioned before that had recently been surveyed, and went up river when Big Falls was actually down river. This was a very nice find, tho!
In Kevin's new waterfall guide, he calls this waterfall #2 on the lower section of Thompson River. It certainly deserves a better name than that, but I'll call it that also. It's now 2007, 3 cameras later, and I still hadn't gone back for some reason. It was also time for an update to the Thompson River section of the site, so I headed up to Harry's and we decided on taking the trail to the base of this falls, then heading up the river to waterfall #1. If you don't want to attempt this, you can hit this one, then head back up to the main trail and back to waterfall #1 that way.
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. It's still maybe a mile and a half to the path down to the side trail to the left down to waterfall #2
The trail follows the river but is at different elevations above the river. Most times during the summer you can't see the river from the trail, but you'll hear it a lot along the way. 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. We didn't see anybody on this warm Saturday. On to waterfall #2 - about 1 1/2 miles after crossing the river, the trail turns to the left and crosses a tributary of the Thompson River. There's another trail to the left right before this - don't take this. Right after this wrong trail, there is some old logging era cable at your feet on the correct trail. Pass this cable and take the next left down and across the tributary. You'll notice that and old logging road continued up the right side of the tributary. After crossing the tributary, continue up the trail. The Thompson River will still be on your left. In about 10-15 minutes after crossing the trib, look for a small side trail that leads down the steep bank. This trail is becoming more obvious also and was marked with flagging tape. Don't count on this, tho. It's very steep, but there are quite a few small trees and rhodos to hang on to. Take your time and slide on your butt if you have to. You should be wearing clothes you don't mind getting dirty and shoes you don't mind getting soaking wet. The trail comes out just down from the waterfall, but it's easier walking in the water among the boulders up for a better view. These rocks are very slippery so be careful! These next shots are from the August 2007 trip.
This beautiful waterfall is about 35' high and flows over some beautiful banded rock. There's a big swimming hole to the right, but it doesn't get sun until mid day and later. I'll say it again - please be careful in areas like this.
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