Lower Cliff Falls on Cliff River

small tumble over boulders before an epic canyon

Mounded drops between mossy rocks
  • Across at the canyon wall
  • Lower tumbles
  • Mounded drops between mossy rocks

Before the Cliff River flows into Mountain Lake it passes through a deep canyon carved from ancient glacial forces. This canyon, with dramatic rock walls, has a rather mundane and even floor, giving Cliff River a chance to spread out and swing back in forth in a narrow little swamp. Before the river enters the canyon, though, it first tumbles down a large set of boulders to form a small waterfall.


From Big Erick's Bridge head east down Erick's Road for 4 miles, turning left onto the Northwestern Road. Take this for 2.2 miles to a small, sandy area with relatively young pines stretching away to the right. Turn left here, driving past the Cliff Falls Hunting Club. After 1.5 miles bear right, staying with the river, and then park after an additional 1 mile. Park near the camping site and head downhill to the Cliff Falls.

From Cliff Falls you can either drive or walk down the road .5 miles to where the road fords Cliff River. Continue following the road another mile, bearing left at the only fork, until you meet up with Cliff River again. The waterfall is about a quarter mile downstream from here. The road continues to worsen after Cliff Falls, which is why it may be easier to walk this stretch than to drive it.

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