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Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
0.70 mi (1.13 km)
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Spirit Falls is world famous amongst kayakers, but that doesn’t mean it will be crowded with tourists like the other waterfalls of the gorge. A steep, unmarked and unmaintained trail down a rocky talus slope further protects the tranquility of this beautiful place. Those willing to do some searching (falls lie just north of the talus field) will be rewarded with a short scramble to an incredibly unique waterfall. The turquoise water pours 33 feet into an effervescent pool with an inaccessible cavern visible behind the falls. In all seasons except for the dead of summer, a wide thin curtain extends to lookers right, sometimes quadrupling the width of the falls.

While rain and snow will diminish the ease of access, viewing the falls during a cold snap will be rewarded with spectacular walls of icicles hanging both into the cave and along the wall facing the falls. Spring and early summer are the most likely times to see kayakers paddling over the falls, and late summer will be the most secluded time of year for the falls.

Note: Trailhead is unmarked so follow the driving directions closely and watch your odometer.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Short hike to scenic and hidden 40 ft. waterfall.

Cons

Unmarked trailhead. Trail unmaintained and difficult to follow.

Trailhead Elevation

730.00 ft (222.50 m)

Net Elevation Gain

516.00 ft (157.28 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Old-growth forest

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

05/01/2019
This ain't a hike, it's grabbing roots and praying.

An uptick in visitors has eroded an otherwise steep trail into a treacherous chute of loose rock and ball bearings. You better know the difference between friendly and unfriendly oak, too.

That being said, if you live, the falls are ethereal, like Lord of the Rings-meets-Kauai ethereal. Saw a dozen kayakers do a precarious portage and one go over the falls.
05/01/2018
Hey there. I'd like to add a bit of info on this trail. When you park, there is an obvious trail right above a talus/rock field. Do not be confused in this "talus field". I went down this talus field and it was NOT even close to the right route. I jumped back on the obvious trail and it took me right to the falls. Do not second guess the obvious trail as I did. The next thing I would add is that this is not a trail for kids. Too steep and around the falls is steep drops to fast moving water (no rails or ropes)...you fall and you would essentially perish. Otherwise proceed.
06/02/2017
This was definitely a gem.

The hike itself wasn't very difficult - the (legal) path seems to be fairly obvious most of the way. There are a few scrambles due to some small rockslides and fell trees, and, if attempted during a dry spell, some loose dirt on some fairly steep grade, but nothing too crazy. No ropes were needed and, while a trekking pole is recommended, it's not necessary. I made do with a found stick.

Once you get down into it...you're rewarded with a spectacular set of falls. It's gorgeous. The color...the color of that water...

And if you get there on a perfect day like we were blessed with, you might get lucky and run into some Red Bull and GoPro kayakers getting crazy on the falls. T'was a pleasant unexpected surprise...

I will definitely be doing this one again.
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