The only National Park in an urban area, this smallest National Park is based around the natural hot springs that have been managed for public use. Bathhouse Row preserves 47 of these with many beneficial minerals.
Prescribed burns going on have closed the dead chief trail and what I think is the peak trail(?). Other trails are likely closed too for a few day. Even if you could access these trails the air quality is not good. This town is rich in history and sights but I was really here for the hiking.
I started at the shelter located at the top of the Gulpha Gorge Trail. Short hike (.2) to Goat Rock trailhead. A little steep heading to the steps going up to the Goat Rock overlook. Very beautiful views from the man made platform. Trail continues to switchback a little to reach the ridge line. I ended the hike at the other overlook parking lot and walked back down the road to my truck.
I started at the campground and went up to the shelter located at the top of the trail. From there, I hiked the Mountain Top trail down to tower overlook, then down the short cut trail where it connects with the Dead Chief Trail. Returned on Dead Chief to where it connects back with the Gulpha Gorge trail and then down to the campground. Steep at first but then a nice and easy loop.
If you start at the Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center it is a rather steep climb up to where the Short Cut Trail ties into the Dead Chief Trail. From there, the Dead Chief is a nice easy hike to the Gulpha Gorge Trail. At that point you can either go down to the Gulpha Gorge Campground, up to the Mountain Top Trail, or turn around and head back to the visitor center. Nice hike on a well marked and up kept trail.
Trail was so confusing and misleading, there was at least five separate, legitimate trails and only one had any kind of marking, and that wasn't even the trail to get to the waterfall.
On top of that, the waterfall was barely a trickle, and after talkin to some locals I found that it doesn't get much better than when we went. A very forgettable experience
Good hike. Got the blood flowing. We got off the beaten path a bit... there are several divergent trails up to lookout point. our initial comb took us on a pretty direct path, about 1 mile almost straight up. took us 22 minutes. we chose to walk the winding road down for a total hike of 2.6 miles.
The falls was beautiful, but the trail was difficult to follow. There is a very short trail to an overlook. From there, there are two unmarked trails left and right. We took the left, which led to the bottom of the falls. Some have clearly taken a shortcut that is much more steep. We did not take the path to the right, but I assumed it went to the other falls that I read about online. None of it was marked and my wife was not confident with my desire to charge off into the wilderness on an unmarked path with my children!