Courthouse Fall

Glorious tank of water in a dramatic setting. Just a big, deep punchbowl wrapped on three sides by vertical rock and garnished with a 40-foot cascade. Rocks piled at the bottom improve the depth, which is at least 10 feet under the fall. The tank is kidney shaped, about 40 feet on the major axis and 20 feet on the minor. It’s heavily shaded with only a small break in the canopy of rhododendron, hemlock, poplar and sycamore. The creek points southwest, so it gets better afternoon light than the vertical walls and heavy canopy would suggest.

Geologically it appears to be a new fall, with little headward erosion in the rock. The main liability is a lack of seating. You will find some flat rocks you can relax on, but there’s room for no more than six or eight people. And you’ll find that many cars at the parking area on a sunny weekend. No safe jumps, but there is an enticing, wedge shaped rock platform adjoining the fall lip. I don’t think you can get the 12 ft. vertical clearance required, but Darwin can be the judge of that.

You have to walk downstream of the fall to find the descending trail. A set of stairs indicates that the falls are heavily visited. It’s basically a beer cooler and bait fishing crowd that makes the short trip. Note: Please stay on the trail and don’t cut switchbacks.

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