Accessibility – Average
Height – 100′ over 3 drops
Distance – Approx 0.5 mile each way
Beauty – 7
Photo rating – 6
Solitude – 3
GPS Info: LAT 35.1983 LONG -82.6169
Triple Falls is where it all started on a wonderful October morning back in 2012. Looking back as 2016 begins, it seems so long ago. It is also an example of how much has changed in three years. On my first visit, the primary parking was roadside along the shoulder of Station Road and required a walk along the row of parked cars as traffic raced past. This was followed by climbing over the guardrail near the bridge and descending the steps. Such nonsense is now reserved only for those arriving late in the day. For most, the expanded parking area for Hooker Falls makes for a more enjoyable hike. The Hooker Falls parking area is located on Station Rd. (DuPont Rd.). If you are coming from Cascade Lake Rd. its 3.2 miles. The entrance will be on the left after passing over the river. If you are coming from Crab Creek Rd. it’s 4.2 miles and on the right before crossing the river. The lot does fill up so plan on making this an early stop.
The hike from the parking area is about half a mile, mostly uphill, steep in places. The hike starts by crossing a bridge over the river before the trail passes under Station Road. On both of my visits the trail was in excellent condition. Like all the trails in DuPont it is signed and easy to follow. The most daunting aspect of the trek is the stairs leading to the middle section of triple falls. They make for a nice workout on the way back to the trail. My then 3-year-old daughter completed the hike without much difficulty and without much prodding. It was after this hike that I realized I had a little adventurer on my hands who can now proudly boast of hiking to more than 100 waterfalls before age 7!
As for Triple Falls, the upper two sections are easy to photograph and a large flat rock surface allows you to get up close to the falls. The biggest challenge I faced was getting a shot without people in it. If you’re looking for a waterfall to enjoy in peace and quiet, this isn’t it. You will be enjoying this one with lots of friends. The water current is swift and the rock slippery so use caution. The upper two sections of the falls are easily viewed from the large flat area above the lower section. The lower section can best be viewed from below or from an overlook downstream.
Do not venture too close to the drop off for the lower section of the falls. It is a long way down. This is nature so there are no fences. The only thing preventing a catastrophic fall is commonsense. If you’re not sure, don’t go any further. If you feel the need to venture closer to the edge, keep in mind there is a large flat area at the bottom of the lower section so recovery teams would easily be able to locate your remains.
The hike is kid friendly, although younger children will likely not care too much for all the steps. Keep them on a tight leash if you venture out toward the falls and it’s definitely for the best to steer them away from the precipice. The sun can be tough when it comes to photography. There is no canopy so a cloudy day would be best. Both of my visits have been on bright sunny days, which were less than ideal for photography.