Are you afraid of heights? Then this hike is definitely not for you. P.S. I am afraid of heights.
I had not been to this waterfall in Paradise before, but it has been on my list for a while. I decided to take the short route, because the longer route apparently involves more hair raising, death-defying, walking along the side of a cliff. Also, it was longer.
However, my route was not as flat as the other one. The hike starts by descending a few hundred feet down to the canal. Mostly it is easy, but the last little bit was quite steep. I got lucky. Once down at the canal, you need to cross it and get up along the other side of the canal.There was supposed to be a metal bridge that allowed you to cross, but I could see no such bridge. Was I in the wrong place? Fortunately, the canal was dry today otherwise it would have been impossible. I guess they shut the water off when there is a storm. Lucky me.
Anyway, I crossed over and jumped up on the other side and started walking along the canal to the waterfall. Before too long, things got a little hair-raising.
The canal is literally built right along the side of the cliff. Below you, is nothing but net. Or rather, nothing but nothing. Because if you fell here, there will be a long period of nothing before you felt something, namely the ground. You are walking on a very narrow metal catwalk over top the canal. It is totally freaky. If there was water in the canal, I do not think I could handle it, with fast rushing water directly below your feet. Vertigo insanity.
I have said it before, but I am afraid of heights. You may think, that is stupid. How can a waterfall hunter, especially the Waterfall Madman, be afraid of heights? Waterfalls, by their very nature, fall off cliffs, and many of them are extremely dangerous and cliffy to see them. Well, I guess I just manage as best I can. Most of them I have no troubles getting to. Some are a little crazier. I guess you could say this is one of those.
It is not like you are walking on the cat walks for only a very short time, basically the entire hike is like this. The last half-mile at least, you are entirely walking along the side of a cliff over the canal. If anyone came along from the other direction, it would be extremely difficult and perhaps even impossible to pass them because the catwalk is so narrow. Fortunately, no one came but apparently this hike is quite a popular one.
When I finally arrived at the falls, I wondered how I was going to photograph it on this narrow catwalk. The waterfall is a big one, essentially dropping all the way to the raging river far below. There was no way of course to get down to see it, only the top 50 feet or so is visible from the canal. Nonetheless, it is a fantastic place.
I laid out my camera bag on the narrow metal grate, and set up my tripod with great difficulty. Just as I was about to start taking photos, it started raining! Oh the timing, God! Here I am out on the middle of this canal, standing over a cliff, nothing below me for hundreds of feet, and with no shelter whatsoever anywhere around me, and it is now raining. I could not take photos at all, because the rain would be pelting my lens and it would be impossible to get a decent shot. There was nothing I could do, literally, except wait out the rain. I was pretty sure, though, that it would not rain for very long, and I was correct. About five or so minutes later, it stopped.
I took my photos, then carefully packed up my camera and tripod, stood up on my very aching knees, because I was kneeling on the metal grate the entire time, then slowly started walking back to the car. I definitely have to say, that this was a highly interesting adventure.