River/Creek · Views · Waterfall
Need to Know
The trailhead sign is about 0.25 miles up (to the north) on the road from the trail start and parking area shown in this description. The parking area is a large field at a drive in camping area, along the beautiful Blaeberry River.
To find the trailhead sign, from the parking area, hike north along the road for about 400m (0.25 mile), and look for the sign to the left/west. Turn left/west at the sign, go down to the river, and turn right onto the trail that runs along the river.
For about the first mile, Thompson Falls Trail is flat as it runs right along the beautiful Blaeberry River that is to the left of the trail. To the right is the fir forest. After about a mile, the trail veers right, goes into the forest, and climbs gently for a short ways. At about the 2 mile mark (from the parking area), an unmarked trail junction is reached. Go left here to continue in the forest as the trail descends back down to the river. Once the river is reached, the trail turns right and runs along the river for the next 0.3 miles. This section along the river can be muddy, and in times of high water it may be difficult to cross. The trail then veers right to climb away from the river, back into the forest. This climb does one switchback, and then reaches a trail junction and second switchback at the 2.6 mile mark--go left here to continue on Thompson Falls Trail.
For the remaining 1.4 miles to Thompson Falls, the trail is in the forest with more climbing, followed by a short descent as the falls are reached. Although this section is in the forest, the Blaeberry River is still nearby to the left/west, but in a gorge now. Around the 3 mile mark, the trail runs high above the river, next to it, for a short stretch, and there are great views from the overlooks.
Thompson Falls Trail ends on the banks of the Blaeberry River, at the top of Thompson Falls. The river drops over a couple cascades and then a cliff, into the gorge below the falls. It is tough/impossible to get a view of the entire falls due to all the cliffs here - be careful! Nevertheless, the area is fun to explore, the gorge is awesome, the viewable cascades/falls are impressive, and the pretty, calm, turquoise Blaeberry River at the top of the falls is a great place for a break and lunch.
Flora & Fauna
Dense fir forest.
Shared By: Joan Pendleton