Beautiful hike! It's definitely a rapids, not quite a falls, but the small falls all along the way!
I definitely think the South Side was better just looking at the other side of the river; my dad definitely struggled a bit on the rocky terrain but nothing he couldn't handle, he just took it slow. We saw a group of about 75 8 year-old's on the trail! Lots of people rafting as well and beautiful fall colors.
A steep slippery climb to the summit, but great views once you're there. The two miles after feel long, it's a drop right away, but then a lot of variation in elevation before you finally hit the Elk Creek split, so save your energy. It's a beautiful chunk of forest though, mist, clouds, salal berries, moss and not crowded at all. I thought people might be exaggerating but it is a tough one. Bring plenty of snacks and water and enjoy!