dogs on leash
This was a fun hike with varied terrain. The area that had been cleared by a forest fire was interesting to see. There's a highland meadow you walk through, as well as more forested areas, and a lot of rock hopping. In general, it's a very rocky trail, so wear solid footwear with good ankle support; it would be very easy to twist an ankle on this terrain.
There is what I would classify as a very minor "rock scramble," and some very interesting rock formations. There are also some really nice surprise pullouts on the trail, including some excellent camp sites with great views of the Valley. Ultimately, once you climb to the top of the rocks at the end of the trail, you get excellent 360 degree views.
Very pleasant hike although I would agree with others assessment. The trail, even on October 22, was pretty muddy in spots. I also don't quite understand what the attributes are of the east side of the hike, it was narrow, weedy, and either burnt or cut over forest with nothing to see. I would definitely recommend doing this as an up and back trail, not a loop by staying on the trail as it turns left at each intersection.
Went on a perfect fall day. The hike is basically a straight shot up the steep side of a mountain. Not a lot going on while hiking up. When you get to the top of the trail, there is a primitive camping area where people were relaxing. Climb to the top of Spy Rock and you'll get an amazing panoramic view. Started our hike around 1 and were back in the car by 4. We spent probably the better part of an hour hanging out on top of the rock. Pretty busy on a Saturday afternoon but we really enjoyed the hike.
Lovely hike. If you do a good clip, it's going to be a great butt burner cause it is ALL up hill. Be prepared for about 100 stairs periodically throughout this hike. There are about 3 great step offs for the falls. Something to keep in mind though, if you are picturing seeing the entirety of this waterfall at any one point you will be disappointed. This is because these falls are, though one of the tallest east of the Mississippi, staggered over ledges and rocks. So you will only be able to see small parts at any one point. With that said - this is a beautiful hike well worth the exertion.