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Old 06-20-2011, 08:24 AM   #1
kayakrski
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Fairy Ladder Falls

Has anyone ever seen it? It's located on Gill Brook east of the junction of the Mount Colvin trail and the Elk Pass trail.

Thanks,

Gregg
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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Yes, was there 10 years ago. It's not far off the trail, but a thick, nasty whack to get there. The falls are a series of "steps" and the total drop is a fair amount. There wasn't a lot of water going over when I was there and that may make the scene more spectacular, but I don't think I'd go back; it just wasn't that impressive a falls. It's a hard photo to take as well with all the thick brucsh around it.

IMO, there are prettier falls lower down on Gill Brook or at Rainbow & Beaver Meadow Falls
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:07 AM   #3
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Hmm. Thanks for the info Dundee but I think I may still have to see it. I'll keep water level in mind for sure though.... and after seeing such a limited response here, I REALLY want to see it that much more.

Have you been to Hanging Spear Falls and if so, how do they compare?

Thanks again for the info.

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Old 06-21-2011, 12:00 PM   #4
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Hey, by all means go to Fairy Ladder. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

I've been to Hanging Spear a couple of times; a much more impressive waterfall than Fairy Ladder; again, IMO. Fairly Ladder is early in the Gill Brook watershed and generally won't have much water. Hanging Spear is the entire Opalescant River! Hanging Spear is a difficult spot to reach the bottom of; very ledgy/cliffy, use caution! However, the view of the falls from the bottom of the gorge is impressive. Maybe a good spot for a summer swim?
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:50 PM   #5
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The McMartin High Peaks trail book has a nice black & white photo of Fairy Ladder Falls...looks beautiful.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:06 AM   #6
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Dundee: Thanks again!

PA: I've seen that photo but I lost the book. That picture has always stuck in my head and is part of the reason I want to visit. Also, Colvin camped there too.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:52 AM   #7
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Anytime!
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:19 PM   #8
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Fairy Ladder

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Originally Posted by PA Ridgerunner View Post
The McMartin High Peaks trail book has a nice black & white photo of Fairy Ladder Falls...looks beautiful.
One of my favorite pastimes is hiking to waterfalls; so, Fairy Ladder was and is on my list of places to go.

I've been there several times. It's pretty much like Dundee said, very dense trees to get there. One trip I took McMartin's book with me as a reference but couldn't figure out how to get that picture. Perhaps the growth was much less then.

You can see the top of the Falls from the trail over to Elk Pass. From the Jct to Colvin the trail starts relatively flat on it's way to Nippletop. When the trail begins to climb steeply keep your eyes peeled in the valley. You should be able to get a view.

To climb down to the falls backoff from the view until the ground is 'level' then go down hill till you intercept a tiny brook. Watchout there's a steep but not overly tall ledge on the way. If you take that tiny brook downstream it will eventually intersect a larger branch of Gill Brook that goes to Fairy Ladder...take that upstream. You may also be able to just bushwack across once you intercept the tiny brook.

Once in the brook you have to hike downstream to get out. There are two other falls to pass downstream of Fairy Ladder on Gill Brook and another Fall with very similar look (but wider) to Fairy Ladder that is upstream of the next major branch to join Gill Brook. In the spring and winter you can see this falls also from the trail.

Another place to catch a view at the top of Fairy Ladder Falls is during the climb on the way to Colvin. Several years ago a storm cleared out the top of two large boulders very near the trail in 0.1 or 0.2 miles uphill from the Jct. It is still somewhat covered with debris. I've missed it on return trips. You can get onto the boulders by walking over some of the blowdown. Once your on the boulders the top of the Falls is obvious.

Don
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:44 AM   #9
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Thanks Hear the footsteps!
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Old 05-08-2015, 04:46 AM   #10
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Fairy Ladder Falls

I know this thread was a few years ago but did you get the chance to go to Fairy Ladder Falls? I just went on 5-5-15 and it was beautiful! I guess I would compare them to Beaver Meadow Falls but taller with more steps. April/May would be the perfect time for someone to visit them because the bushwhack should be a bit easier and there would be sufficient water flow. I am going to try to post a few pics I took when I was there. If you haven't gone yet, I would suggest you do. It was worth the effort for me just like T-Lake Falls.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=7a5e7f2dd0
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Fairy Ladder Falls.jpg (157 Bytes, 59 views)
File Type: jpg Fairy Ladder Falls long exposure.jpg (157 Bytes, 59 views)
File Type: jpg 1st look at Fairy Falls 2.jpg (157 Bytes, 57 views)
File Type: jpg Brian Fairy ladder falls.jpg (157 Bytes, 56 views)
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