Tag Archives: waterfalls

Sitting Bull Falls (Carlsbad, New Mexico)

Sitting Bull Falls
~ Eddy County Rd 409, Lincoln National Forest, Carlsbad, New Mexico USA ~ https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lincoln/recarea/?recid=34238 ~

This amazing oasis in the middle of the desert outside of Carlsbad New Mexico is amongst my world’s favorite locations and cooling off zones. I grew up with the Cave and the pools from childhood, hanging out there with friends from high school, partying in the pools above, stealthily camping and cave exploring long before there were required permits and restrictive gates or access. It has changed quite a bit, but very much improved for recreation and protecting the natural resources on location. It is a day-use only site. The site has pavilions, picnic tables, water, and restrooms accessible. There are established hiking trails from the site. It is open from 8:30 am until 6 pm with a $5 per vehicle parking fee.

The site is a astonishing dream-like 150′ waterfall than pours over canyon walls with a stalactite/stalagmite filled cavern behind it, dumping down into crystal clear natural swimming pools beneath. It is one of a series of waterfalls found in this canyon lost within the Lincoln National Forest that are spring fed through a series of streams and pools until reaching its drop-off. Most of the river’s water disappears into cracks, gravel, and bedrock and reappears in springs further down the canyon eventually joining the Pecos Valley underwater aquifer.

The geology of the area is a remnant reef system known as the Capitan Great Barrier Reef dating from the Permian period around 250 million years ago when the region was the edge of an inland sea. The name of the falls has never been proven, but legend has it that the cave behind the falls was used by Sitting Bull to hide. The Apache called the area “gostahanagunti” meaning “hidden gulch”. In 1940, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed number of stone buildings that are now part of the parking lot and picnic area. THere is a time capsule dated March 24, 1999 embedded into one of the buildings. The park was closed from APril 27, 2011 through April 6, 2012 after wildfires in the are destroyed the area making it unsafe.

There are numerous sacred pools above the falls which are great for swimming in. In order to explore the cave behind the waterfall or any of the other caves in the area, one needs proper equipment and obtain a permit.

The site is easy to get to, though quite a distance from Carlsbad so be ready for some bumpy dirt roads. Take US highway 285 north from Carlsbad, turn west on NM 137 for 20 miles to county road 409, turn right and continue to the site. Another turn-off is right across the highway from the turn-off to Bradford Lake State Park.

Another family’s video of caving in the cave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWWj5Z7iy_I

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Multnomah Falls


Multnomah Falls
* Columbia River, Oregon *

A spectacular panoramic waterfall along the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon side, just east of Troutdale. It drops in two steps split into a upper falls plunging 542 feet, and a smaller bottom level with a 69 foot drop. It is Oregon’s tallest waterfall, and the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States. It is fed from underground springs coming from the Larch Mountain, augmented by spring runoff. The park is free and ample parking is shared by east and westbound travelling along the Columbia river corridor. A must stop for anyone travelling in the area. Great rest stop as well with restaurant, cafe, gift shop, and restrooms. A highly popular tourist stopoff.

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The Maid of the Mist Tour (Niagara Falls)


Maid of the Mist Tour
* Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara, New York *

If you want to get a good look at the Bridal Veil Falls or the Horseshoe Falls from the American side. It begins as a ferry boat that issues you a rain poncho and takes you out from the calm side of the Niagara River near the Rainbow Bridge. The Tour takes you by the American and Bridal Veil Falls, and then into the spray heavy curve of Horseshoe/Canadian Falls. The tour can be accessed either from the American or the Canadian side. The tour is operated by the Maid of the Mist Steamship Company. The first boat was launched in 1846 to ferry people from Canada to America and vice versa. It lost business when the Suspension Bridge was built and became a tour system. Numerous boats and versions were constructed and used through the years. The very first Maid of the Mist I ran from 1846 until 1854 as a double-stacked steamboat ferry. Business failed in the late 1800’s and was not restored until 1895. The boats have saved a few people who plunged over Horseshoe Falls through the years. The Canadian operations will close in October of 2013. Most likely will be operated by another company on the Canadian side in the near future. Rating: 5 stars out of 5


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Horseshoe Falls


Horseshoe Falls
* Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara, New York *

Located on the Canadian side of the Niagara River, the “Canadian Falls” or “Horseshoe Falls” is the most famous and most attracted spots at the Niagara Falls wonder. Over 90% of the Niagara River flows over these falls and is used for massive hydro-power generation. The Remaining 10% of the river flows over the American Falls. These falls are located between Terrapin Point on Goat Island and Table Rock in Ontario. The Falls have been fought over between America and Canada throughout history.

The Myth of the Maid of the Mist is a Native American legend from the Ongiaras Tribe about a young woman, named Lelawal, the Maid of the Mist. She lost her husband at a very young age and was lost in sorrow. She canoed along the Niagara River to the Falls, singing a death song paddling into the current. She was caught up in the rough waves and hurled into the falls, but as she fell, Heno, the God of Thunder who lived in these falls caught her carrying her down to his home beneath the veil of waters falling. Heno and his sons took care of her until she healed. One of his sons fell in love with her, married, and bore a son who learned to be a God of Thunder. The Maid however missed seeing her family and tribe. Heno reported to her that A great snake came down the mighty river and poisoned the waters of her people. They grew sick and were dying, being devoured by the snake until the mass disappearance of the tribe occurred. She begged Heno to be able to go back to the realm of her people to warn them of the dangers, so he lifted her through the falls back to her people. She advised them to move away from the river onto higher lands until the danger passed. Heno came back and brought her back to her husband. Once the great snake discovered that the people deserted the village, it went into a rage hissing and going upstream to search for them. Heno rose up through the mist of the falls and threw a giant thunderbolt at the snake killing it in one blast. The giant body floated downstream and lodged just above the cataract creating a large semi-circle that deflected huge amounts of water into the falls just above the God’s home. Heno swept through the falls trying to stop the massive influx of water caused by the position of the corpse. His home was destroyed. He called for the Maid and his sons returning up into the sky making a new home in the heavenly realms watching down over the humans, Heno thundering in the clouds as he once did in the falls. The thunder of the falls is Heno’s voice. [ http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/09/the_maid_of_the_mist.html ] Other legends claim Lelawala was betrothed by her father to a king she despised and secretly wanted to be with He-No, the God of Thunder, who lived beneath Horseshoe Falls. In the middle of heartache she chose to sacrifice herself to him, paddling her canoe into the Niagara River and swept off into the Falls. He-no caught her, merged with her spirit, and lived forever in his sanctuary behind the falls, whereas she became the “Maiden of the Mist”.


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Gibraltar Falls, ACT, Australia

Gibraltar Falls
* Corin Road * Namadgi National Park * +61 02 6207 2900 * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

One of the first waterfalls that I had a chance to see in Australia as accompanied by my travel mate Bluey Bee Fabbo. A nice calm overcast day, we ventured outskirts of Canberra to find this charming little falls which is pretty close to the city. Easy to find, one drives out of Canberra southwest 45 kilomenters, along highway 5 – “Tidbinbilla Road”, roughly a half hour drive turning off at the sign pointing the way to the Falls within the Gibraltar Creek Pine Forest south off Corin Road. Park and take the well-marked footpath down to the falls. With warnings of steep cliffs abound, we kept to the trail, until the end of the path dictated (as everyone else was venturing over) to experience the waters ourselves. Now, being a world traveller and having seen some of the best falls around the world, I wasn’t that impressed. It also seems probable that the falls are more spectacular after a good hearty rainfall, even though it has been deemed the largest waterfall in the ACT. The falls cascade 50 meters down into a 800 meter granite walled gorge feeding the headwaters of Gibraltar Creek.

Historically, the falls and area was of special interest to the Australian Aborigine. Archaeological finds have shown habitation patterns near the falls including rockshelters, axes, lithics, and grinding grooves. The area was first settled by white westerners in the 1890’s. The first recorded white settlers were the Woods family who named the area “Gibraltar Creek”. It wasn’t until the 1960’s with the establishment of a station for the Corin Dam Road that the location found much foot traffic. Environmentally, the falls are home to a rare species of dragonfly called the Waterfall Redspot.

Atop in the parking lot are restrooms, picnic tables, shelters, amenities, first aid equipment, and gas barbeque grills. There are more picnic tables and areas, as well as camping, further into the woods reserves. The footpath takes one to a couple lookouts for viewing the falls, though the best way to photograph the falls is to wander off path (not recommended but seems something that everyone who visits does).

I found the waterfall quaint, and would be a picnic spot I would frequent often if I lived in Canberra. Rating: 2 stars out of 5. Visited/Reviewed by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan with Bluey Bee Fabbo on April 25, 2011.

For more information, recommended readings, and photographs ~
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04.25.11: Chronicles: Koalas and Cybergoths

Travels Down Under:
Koalas and Cyber-goths

Monday, April 25, 2011
* Area around Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

A later start to the day, Sir Bluey heated up the last of the kangaroo meat for lunch. This time the adventuring duo spiced it up with a peanut satay sauce which Sir Thomas Leaf thought tasted amazing. Sir Thomas Leaf also gifted Sir Bluey with some Pirate Relief stickers for his car after finding them while organizing his gear as he would soon be heading off for the high seas. Sir Bluey Bee proudly displayed them on his car as they were soon off to Gibraltar Falls. As the delvers headed down the path towards the cliffs leading to the waterfall, Sir Bluey expressed strongly to Sir Leaf not to wander off the trail out of fear he might slip and fall on the rocks. For once (perhaps in his lifetime) Sir Leaf listened. But Sir Bluey Bee did not to his own advice and a slip, slide, tumble, roll, and splash … Sir Bluey was on his ass. Luckily he was fine. But they both laughed. Quickly distracted from the humor as they were in awe of Gibraltar Falls. Scenic panoramas and beautiful tumbling waters falling down the rocks. After wandering around the falls, the explorers headed off to the Tidbinbilla Nature reserve in search of kangaroos, eucalyptus trees, wallabees, quolls, and koalas. Wandering through the park provided much viewing of kangaroos and wallabies, and even a koala. Admiring the flora and fauna, Sir Thomas Leaf photographed and notated all the different species he spied. He even actually saw a Platypus, but unfortunately it went underwater before he could take a photograph. That evening, Sir Bluey Bee and Sir Thomas Leaf donned their darkest dress and headed downtown Canberra for the Chrome Goth Night at the Underground Bar underneath the Canberra YHA. Cyber-goth pleased, the two comrades had a blast at the night as they shared ciders and flirts with the fair maidens … a late night and a good sleep welcomed them in the wee hours of the morn.

[ Chronicles: The Vegemite Down Under ]

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Remainder of the Story, Photos and videos below the cut:

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Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff Forest Park
Antrim, Northern Ireland

One of Northern Ireland’s enchanted woodlands … Glenariff Forest Park is full of myth and legends, faeries, and woodland creatures. It is home to a unique Waterfall Walkway that was introduced to tourists 80 years ago and significantly upgraded along its 3 mile length that passes through a National Nature Reserve. The park is a photographer’s paradise. It houses a visitor center, exhibition, interactive display, a gift shop, caravan/camping sites, and a seasonal restaurant complimenting the Park called “Gateway to the Glens”. The park is a 2,928 acre forest in County Antrim of Northern Ireland that is managed by the Northern Ireland Forest Service. The forest is also utilized for timber production centered around the clearfelling of coniferous plantation trees.

According to some myths and legends, the legendary warrior/poet Oisin (Ossian/Son of the giant Fin McCool) had once tried to outrun a band of Vikings in this forest. When they closed in on him, he climbed down a steep gully, as just as he was about to plunge to his death, a mysterious grey rope-like column appeared, he grabbed on to it, and climbed up to safety. When he reached the top he found it to be the tail of a white horse grazing in the field above. He thanked the horse and asked for its help. She turned into a mountain mist, falling to the ground as water, thereby washing away the Norsemen who pursued him. This is now the waterfall in the park known as the “Grey Mare’s Tail”. (myth as told from Causeway Coast and Glens Myths Tour).


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Akaka & Kahuna Falls (Big Island, Hawaii)

Akaka Falls
* Akaka Falls Rd * Off Hwy 19, Honomu, HI 96728 * (808) 974-6200 * (near Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii) *

My first day on the Big Island, my friend Kawika took me to these amazing sheer pits of ‘awe’ known as ‘Akaka Falls. A 442 foot tall waterfall descending down into a deep gorge as part of the Kolekole Stream. Located within ‘Akaka Falls State Park just 11 miles north of Hilo at the end of Highway 220. Because the waterfall plunges down into a very rocky and scenic gorge, the local Hawaiians named it ‘Akaka which means “A rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale”. The folklore surrounding these falls involve P?haku a Pele that, when struck by a branch of lehua ??pane, will call the sky to darken and rain to fall (Pukui, Elbert, & Mookini, 1974). You can also see Kah?n? Falls along this trail. The trail is a self-guided .4 mile hike through dense tropical vegatation leading to these two natural wonders of Hawaii. Lots of Hawaii’s botanica dot and dress up the trail as tropical flowers, vines, and trees. Kahuna Falls is the lesser of the two, plummeting 400 feet. The Park itself has a nice parking lot, rest rooms, and often will find locals selling arts and crafts. On my visit on August 6, 2009; there was an amazing artist painting local scenery. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Must visit location on the Big Island.

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Snoqualmie Falls (North Bend, Washington)

Snoqualmie Falls
* Post Office Box 1957 * Snoqualmie, WA 98065 * Phone 425-985-6906 * http://www.snoqualmiefalls.com/ *
One of Washington’s most famous attractions is Snoqualmie Falls, an enormous 268 ft waterfall that falls between Snoqualmie and Fall City, Washington. Fed by the Snoqualmie River, the falls have been diverted into power plants powering the local area. The falls get over 1.5 million visitors each year where there is a two acre park, observation deck, gift shop, and lodge. To the Snoqualmie Tribe, the Falls is a traditional burial site where “the First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer and where prayers are carried up to the Creator by g reat mists that rise from the powerful flow”. The mists that rise from the base of the waterfall are said to serve to connect heaven and earth. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


Bridal Veil Falls (Telluride, Colorado)

Bridal Veil Falls
Telluride, Colorado

One of the spectacular beauties of Telluride are the stunning Bridal Veil Falls. A towering water fall dropping 365 feet at the end of the box canyon overlooking Telluride. Hiking and off road trails pass by the falls and there resides a power plant at its top. During the winter the frozen falls create a otherworldly art form. Atop the falls is a house owned by Eric Jacobson who restored the power plant. This plant provides for over 25 percent of Telluride’s need for energy. In the 1990s the falls were opened to ice climbers but since it regained private property status again that changed. The area around the falls is subject to avalanche and environmental conditions. Reaching the top can be challenging at times. The falls are awe inspiring and definitely a great viewpoint. On our 5/31/09 visit, we were unable to make it up to them and could only admire Bridal Veils from afar, but that was far worth the inspiration. Someday I hope to climb up to them and enjoy close-up.


Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado
Telluride is a great little mountainous ski-resort village that was once a mining town. Population of 2,221 in 2000. Telluride was a former silver mining camp on the san Miguel River in the San Juan Mountains nestled in a box canyon of the Four Corners region of Colorado with steep forested mountains and cliffs surrounding the town. Elevation 8,750 feet. At the head of the canyon is the amazing Bridal Veil Falls and speckled all along the valley are numerous weathered ruins of old mines and operations. Telluride offers a free gondola that you can take up to the mountain-tops for a great panoramic view of the valley. Telluride is notoriously known for its pop culture as it has been the backdrop for several tv commercials, home to an international film festival, and referred to in songs by Glenn Frey, Kate Wolf, Tim McGraw, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Josh Gracin, and in an essay by Edward Abbey. Hotspot of activity for skiiers and hikers, it’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Only one road reaches the town year round with two off-road routes for mid summer. Gold was first discovered in the region in 1858. The first claim was made by John Fallon in the Marshal Basin above Telluride. This sparked settling the area in 1878 with the formation of the town. Originally called “Columbia” but later changed to Telluride after one of the minerals found in the area called Tellurium. Telluride’s mines are rich in zinc, lead, copper, silver, and gold. Butch Cassidy hung out here in 1889 and robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank that year making history as his first major recorded crime. Local residents and common visitors have included John Denver, Bob Dylan, Daryl Hannah, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Cruise. I found the town extremely charming and in some quarters rustic, even though it had its touristy yuppie overwhelming flair. Definitely one of my favorite towns in Colorado. A must visit.

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Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah National Park

Dark Hollow Falls
Dark Hollow Falls

Dark Hollow Falls @ Shenandoah National Park * http://www.nps.gov/shen/ * Shenandoah National Park, 3655 US Hwy 211 East, Luray, Virginia 22835 * 540.999.3500
Just outside of Big Meadows and a couple miles down from the road lies Dark Hollow Falls. These falls can get crowded because they are located just across Skyline Drive from Big Meadows Campgrounds which is a very popular attraction. The main falls are a set of four cascades that drop roughly 71 feet. Distance of hike: 5.5 miles round trip, Elevation gain: 1400 ft, average hike time : 3 hours, difficulty: moderate. Hiking loop. Rating 3 stars out of 5. Visited 5/23/08. (Lat:38.5306 Lon:-78.4404)

Dark Hollow Falls

spider web by Dark Hollow Falls
spider web by Dark Hollow Falls

ferns by Dark Hollow Falls

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