A little over 5 miles. Decline to the falls then back up. Not much room for gathering at the fall. We went early to beat the crowd and to spend a little more time enjoying it. The fall was flowing after a week of on and off rain. You have to cross 3 streams, try not to fall in ;) Make sure you get your permit $6 good for 5 people.
i loved this hike!!! We started our hike at 6:45 am and finished at 9:45 am. when we finished at 9:45, it was already 90 plus degrees. Gets really hot out there so id recommend to bring plenty of water.
You need a permit to hike, so I would recommend to buy one. Only 75 permits are allocated per day. One permit can have up to 5 people on it. Get your permit here: http://www.recreation.gov/
I would recommend to go here after it has rained so the waterfall is working.
The hike was beautiful and colourful going down and the falls and lagoon were such a stunning waypoint. Go early it gets really hot on the way back up.
Our experience involved a group of twenty somethings and their pack of pitbulls. Felt sorry for the dogs they were so massive and drooling and hot and miserable. Stereotypical pitbull owners. No water for the dogs and they had to go back up in the midday heat. Don't take your dog unless it is very early and it is a dog that can handle that kind of activity. Pitbulls not so much.
This hike was great!! Super easy going down started at 6:15 am and on the way back was a steady up hill not super hard but was early morning time frame it could be super hard if it was hot out there really is no shade after 9am ....so keep that in mind the trail is open all year round . The water fall is more flowing in the spring time they say... but still super zen at the ending place nice and cool ... decent parking there is a lot and side parking loved this hike ...... also they advise you don't take your dog out on the trail because of over heating and death .... but if you go early should be good and the permit is only $6 for day pass I did this hike in 2 1/2 hours not included chilling at the falls total do it agin !!!!
Great hike! I must reiterate what others have said. Bring enough WATER for your entire party. A small water bottle is not going to cut it. I brought 3 liters, plus 2 more liters and most of the water was used. I started the hike at 7am and finished around 11am or so. Spent about an hour at the falls (dry). The hike back up was a challenge and it was getting hot. Take away message: Hydrate! Go early to beat the heat!
I have knee issues and it was a great hike! Go early before the mid day heat because the way back up is gradually steep and you don't feel it as much when going down! Also not as many people go early in the morning which is nice since you can enjoy the silence and beauty without feeling rushed! Pack plenty of water as u will use most of if coming up. Not a lot of shade up the trail but on the bottom their is plenty of shady spots to catch your breath or just enjoy the shade from the heat. Also get your permit before going out there if not u can get it online if you have a smart phone like I had to. The volunteers out there were so nice and helpful! Overall a great hike!
The park ranger was a real jerk about us trying to do the trail with a dog. They don't sell the pass in person and even though we tried paying for it upon arrival he said that wasn't an option. He let several people by who were wearing flip flops but said we couldn't go because we had a dog. He also claimed they had turned away a person with a bull dog and that was his reasoning, although our dog has come on every hike with us and is an athletic breed and in great condition.
We had all the required water and gear and he still basically told us he wouldn't let us go.
What we gathered from this is don't come and try to do the trail in the summer. It's "too hot for dogs", there is no waterfall, and the water left behind is stagnant and disgusting. The park ranger was also the reason we couldn't go and even though we are experienced hikers he treated us like we thought it was some nature walk. A major downer and every other person coming off the trail was complaining about how difficult it was because they all seemed to be in poor physical shape.
I'm giving 2 stars because of the summer months and the danger associated with it. I'm sure winter and cooler temperatures make this a beautiful hike especially since you can see the waterfall then. We went in July.
You do need to purchase a $6 permit ahead of time they only give 75 out a day so plan ahead. The one $6 permit covers 5 people. You can purchase using the link below (copy/paste).
It should be noted that summer months (anything with temperatures above high 70's) turn this hike into a HARD not moderate hike. Seriously! The heat makes this a very dangerous hike. There are warnings once getting to the location but it should be posted online the difference in difficultly and health safety by season and temperature.
Also in summer months the waterfall is nonexistent....just a green stagnant algae watering hole. Yuck! It's a view walking down and hiking back up but during summer months there's better places to be.
Do NOT take your dog during summer either you will be turned away.
I'd suggest to anyone considering doing this hike to avoid entirely the summer OR only hike this if you get there at 6am to begin your hike. Can take almost 4 hours to complete due to no shade and intense heat if beginning around 930am like we did...we finished right around 1pm at the heat of the day. And no we aren't out of shape.
We witnessed someone get rescued as well. 5 heat related rescues were made this week and all were female. It's the heat that makes this hike very difficult and not worth it.
Watch your surroundings...rattlesnakes live in those bushes...you are going to their home.
WATER! A gallon of water is absolutely what you need....it's not for the hike down but the hike back up...if you have leftovers pour it on your head...down your back etc otw back up to help cool you down. Wear a hat, keep your shoulders covered. And bring salty snacks to keep your electrolytes in balance.
You will need to be rescued for one of 2 reasons...dehydration or loss of electrolytes...plan accordingly because there is zero cell service during the hike. Helicopters circle every few hours or so to check to see if anyone needs to be airlifted.
It's 2.5 miles to the waterfall or "green watering hole" and 2.5 back, but they say "it's 2.5 miles down and 20 miles back up" because it's all up back and it's seriously no exaggeration in that heat.
I do not recommend this hike at all in summer months unless you begin hiking at 6am if not earlier...or better yet save it for winter! Be safe out there!!!
Went hiking around 8am this past Saturday, it was very sunny and hot. The way down is easy and the views are beautiful, when we made it to the creek there were a lot of people in the water... i wish i brought my swimsuit! the way up is more challenging and the sun makes it a really good workout. One thing you should know is you need a permit tp hike to the waterfall, luckily we were able to purchase online that morning. Don't forget to Bring enough water! Especially if you plan to hike later in the morning/afternoon