Once again, evidence of damage from recent storms is seen right at the main entrance road.
Several parts of the main trail are taped off but you could still access the full route via alternate paths. However if I remember correctly the Thimbleberry Trail that was adjacent to the campgrounds was closed completely.
The huge silver lining to all that rain? The river was surging and all of the falls were flowing strong. There are actually many drops in the river that could be considered large falls in their own right, but in this park they are just unnamed features. (Don’t forget to click any of the photos for a full-screen view to see more detail!)
Rapids and riffles can be found everywhere you look. This is just several hundred yards from the parking lot. Not far from here are the main attractions – a set of 3 major falls almost right on top of each other.
Now & Then Falls
Starting on the east entrance path and going counter-clockwise, the first main feature is Now and Then Falls – cleverly named because it only flows occasionally and at low water levels is just a trickle.
Again thankfully the recent rains had this flowing at levels that probably much larger than usual. Score!
Lower Amnicon Falls
Continuing counter-clockwise, after crossing a small parking area there is a covered Horton bowstring bridge that is one of only 5 known to survive from the late 1800’s.
The downstream view of Lower Amnicon Falls is quite amazing. One of the iconic views of our state used in tons of tourism promotions and it’s easy to see why.
After crossing the bridge you are actually then on a huge rock island that divides the river. From here you can get dangerously close to the edge for a sideways/above angle. Don’t fall here!
Snake Pit Falls
After circling the north side of the island, you come back around to the other split in the river. Many more unnamed falls here that are larger than others across the state. Truly a (pleasantly) ridiculous number of drops all in one place.
Signpost at Snake Pit Falls warning not to jump in the river – something that frankly hadn’t crossed my mind as I don’t like the idea of drowning.
Looking down at Snake Pit Falls. This one is unique that it drops down into a small whirlpool, then turns a sharp 90-degrees to the left and runs down a narrow chute carved through the rocks. Definitely don’t want to fall in here, not sure how you would get out!
Upper Amnicon Falls
Completing the loop on the island, you come back to the covered bridge to enjoy an awesome upstream view of Upper Amnicon Falls.
Here’s a shot from the main east road entrance for perspective – Upper Amnicon to the right, Snake Pit downstream under the smaller bridge, island is off the right side of the bridge.
Here’s a short compilation video of the falls found here. Watch near the middle for the guy climbing out to view the falls as it provides some scale to how large these are. Enjoy!
Overall hiking the main loop is not very difficult and can be accessed by most people. Climbing down along the cliffs to get photos in some of the places I did would require a bit more effort but it isn’t what I would call strenuous. You can see from the stats I spent way more time taking photos than I did actually moving – something VERY easy to do here. Sometimes that’s the point though to just enjoy the scenery!Lat = 46.6093216 , Long = -91.8903809 -- Show at Google Maps