Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Martha Falls

After leaving Bench Lake, my intention was to drive to the southeastern corner of the park and do a long circuit hike that linked three separate hikes together. But as I drove, I stopped at a couple of roadside pull-offs to admire the scenery and flowers. The road had doubled back on the opposite side of a very steep and scenic canyon. I had lost a lot of elevation driving and there was no longer any snow anywhere nearby.
At one such stop, I suddenly spotted a gorgeous waterfall on the opposite side of the canyon and far below.I consulted my maps and hiking book, and found that it was Martha Falls, and that there was a very short and steep section of the Wonderland Trail that led right to the falls. It looked to be about a half mile hike each way, and maybe a loss of 500 feet elevation in that half mile. I had to see such a pretty spot close up, and so I turned the car around and drove back whence I came looking for the trail junction. When I found it, I put on my pack and headed down the trail.
The trail was steep, as indicated on my topo map, but I reached Martha Falls in no time. It thundered over the lip of its chute with a very pretty display.
There was a half-log bridge – so popular in this park – to cross the stream. The old, “permanent” bridge had been washed out and some of its remains was a big pile of rubble that was up on a bank high over the stream. I snapped photos from several vantage points,
chatted with a couple of guys who had hiked up to the falls the long way from near the Box Canyon, and then started the trudge uphill back to my car. The hike back up was more arduous than my hike down, as one would expect. But it was short and through scenic woods and with some occasional views, and passed quickly.
I am glad I made the unplanned detour into beautiful Martha Falls. It was well worth it.

Here is a 3-D Topo representation of the Martha Falls track (green) and my previous hike to Bench Lake (red).


  1. Wow, more great photos of more great hikes. You must have really enjoyed yourself.

  2. Yep, I had an amazing time and saw so many beautiful sights.