The Kanarra Falls Trail

 

Point 1

Town Parking Lot

From the Town parking lot, start walking up the trail by the information sign to the Permit Kiosk. Here the attendant will scan your permit and let you proceed on the hike. The trail will follow the old access road (approx 0.8 miles) as it wanders up into the Hurricane Cliffs and enters the lower open sections of the canyon. The trail will cross the stream several times along the road. A vault toilet is located near the first creek crossing- because you are entering into a wilderness study area, take the opportunity to use the restroom at this point because there will be no other facilities along the trail.

The road ends by a fenced area around the town’s spring and the trail continues, hiking in the stream part of the time. (Good water hiking shoes are highly recommended.) At this point, the trail is overgrown and you will be alternating between hiking in the (usually less than a foot-deep) water and hiking on one of the many short trails on both sides of the stream. Whatever route you choose, please do your best to avoid causing any more erosion to the banks. Watch your footing as there are roots, boulders and snags to navigate.  After about half a mile, the canyon slots up and continues to the first major landmark of the hike: Kanarraville Falls, a 15-foot high rock-jam waterfall.

Point 2

The Lower Falls

The first waterfall (approx 1.6 miles) presents a leaning-log “ladder” with new, somewhat ominous, metal fabricated rungs attached. Hikers must scale the makeshift ladder, with a rope “handrail” of sorts, in order to continue on the trail. Be aware that the ladder does get wet and can be slippery. Some hikers opt to turn around at this point. Just arriving at the first waterfall will yield plenty of awe-inspiring moments and memories that won’t soon be forgotten.

Point 3

Water Slide and Pool

If you continue hiking, the canyon opens up to a natural water slide and flat rocks that make a perfect snack spot (approx 1.8 miles). After a snack, be sure to inspect your surroundings for trash or spilled foods. Accept the challenge of packing out all trash, leftover food, and litter.

Point 4

The Upper Falls

A bit further up the trail, hikers come to deeper water and narrowing slot section of the second waterfall (approx 1.9 miles). The condition and safety of this “ladder” are always unknown and it is not recommended that you go beyond this point.  Above the second waterfall, the trail continues a bit but then becomes impassable without specialized gear and the canyon boxes out. The condition of the ladders varies from year to year depending upon runoff and drainage so be prepared.