February 24, 2017

Jones Falls/Elk River Falls

  • 3.85 miles
  • 2:55 duration
  • 567 feet elevation change
  • 2 caches (1 traditional, 1 Earthcache)
  • 2 waterfalls
  • 3 cannonballs

I played hooky from work (with permission from the boss) to go hiking on an unseasonably warm February Thursday. I have visited Elk River Falls twice in the past, and had tried to visit Jones Falls in 2011, but wasn’t sure of the route and turned back half way there. Parking for both falls is in the same location.

Using waypoints leading us to the geocache near Jones Falls, Team Cache Cracker Jacks (Tom and Dori), Lob the Huntsman (Rayb0) and I easily found the falls on this trip. Most of the nearly four mile hike this day was to Jones Falls. Elk River Falls is a very short walk from parking.

Jones Falls is 100 feet tall with the top portion being a free fall and the lower portion more of a long, sliding cascade. It is tough to photograph, especially on a sunny day like we had. To make matters worse, while trying to photograph the upper portion, my camera was facing into the low sun that had just come over the trees. Visiting earlier in the day, or on a cloudy day would be much better.

After exploring Jones Falls, we hiked back to the parking area, and then down the steps to Elk River Falls. These falls are magnificent at around 55 feet, and have more volume that any falls in the area. They can also be deadly, as many people have jumped or fallen from the top of the falls and not survived.

We enjoyed a lunch break, and then three of us braved the cold river water and did cannonballs into the swimming hole.


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