This is the waterfall at Hemlock Crossing. It may not quite be 20 feet high, but to my eye it is very close. I do not bring my waterfall measuring devices (rangefinder and clinometer) on backpacking trips because it is extra weight that I do not need to carry. 20 feet is my limit for including on my website, but I do make exceptions and this would be such an exception. It is the most well known waterfall on the North Fork San Joaquin river, and the one that everyone takes a photo of, and this is probably because it is the only one that people see since it is located right at the bridge over Hemlock Crossing, which is the end of the road I suspect for most people. I think most people do not go further than this and never see the myriad of other waterfalls on this river (or even know about them). So this is the one!

I was not ever a huge fan of Tom Petty but I did appreciate his music. Free Fallin’ was probably my favorite of his songs. It also happens to be a good way to describe waterfalls! Coincidence? Since I was camping here, I spent a lot of time beside this waterfall, watching it, sitting in the sun, and listening to music. I love how smoothly it falls (freely) off the cliff into the beautiful large pool. It certainly was very sad that Petty died so young. I tried to educate my son Jadon on his music, as I often do for various things. But he is a strange one and likes strange music. I cannot even tell you. He was not a fan of Tom Petty’s music. Oh well, I tried.


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