Whitewater Falls

One of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies, Whitewater Falls stands at 350 to 400 feet and boasts a newly-paved path to an overlook and shelters for picnicking.

NOTE: Due to staircase damage, access to the falls is currently closed until further notice. All the new improvements to the site—including the modern bathrooms—are welcome, but come at a price, namely, the parking fees. But if you're planning on stopping there as part of a long hike, fear not: The waterfall, two levels of sheer drops fed by the Whitewater River, can serve as a rest stop for hikers of the Foothills Trail, which runs around the rest area and avoids the more crowded overlooks.

Click Here to View USFS Downloadable Guide to Whitewater Falls

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Hike Description

From the turnaround at the lower end of the parking area, a paved path leads to an upper overlook of the falls. Ignore the inaccurate sign that says it’s 0.5 mile to the falls. It’s actually less than 0.25 mile to the overlook. The path isn’t level, but it might be doable for strong-armed persons in wheelchairs. From the upper overlook, a set of steps (154, to be exact) descends the slope to a lower viewing deck. Those who can make the climb should do so, as the view is spectacular.  

Leave No Trace -- Seven Principles

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

For more details, visit www.lnt.org
©1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Safety

Heed posted warning signs indicating danger and stay on established trails. Never climb on or around waterfalls and never play in the water above a waterfall. Rocks can be slippery and it's easy to lose your balance especially with bare feet. Currents near waterfalls can be extremely swift even in areas further upstream. Never jump off waterfalls or dive into plunge pools at the base of waterfalls. Rocks and logs can be hidden beneath the surface of the water. Often waterfall pools have swirling water or currents that can drag and keep you underwater. Even if you have seen other people enjoy playing around waterfalls, be aware they have been lucky to escape unharmed. Waterfalls are constantly changing with varying water flows and erosion of the rocks around them. The current from one place to the next may be faster than you anticipate and the arrangement of rocks or other debris such as logs in the plunge pool is ever changing.

 
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