Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tanner Creek Gorge

I stumbled on a hiking forum that showed some impressive waterfalls on Tanner Creek so Drew and I decided to hike in and investigate the gorge above Wahclella Falls. We hiked Forest Road 777 up the ridge on the east side of the canyon and then bushwacked about 1,000 vertical feet down a fairly steep, wooded slope to the creek.

Topo map of the gorge from

Hiking in on Forest Road 777

Rock slide a about 1.5 miles up the road

After we passed the creek that flows into Tanner at Wahclella falls,
we left 777 and hiked down the next ridge for about 45 min. until
we reached Tanner Creek

Our first view of the creek was a long series of cascading
slides that ended in this 15-20 ft drop, Caesura Falls.

Looking downstream from Caesura, the lead-in to the next drop . . .

40 ft. Sundance Falls!

Perfect 40 footer

The river really started to gorge up here.
It would be really hard work to hike out with a kayak.

Just below Sundance there was a series of stacked falls that dropped
into a slot canyon just above 65 ft. Wahclella Falls.

Looking downstream from Sundance Falls to the lip of Swaawa Falls.

60 ft. Swaawa Falls. Best lunch spot ever!

Almost perfect . . .

Except for a log in the landing, and a 100 ft deep
walled-in vertical gorge below it (with a bunch of wood).

From the lip of Swaawa looking downstream

Looking back upstream at Swaawa.

The gorge makes a 45 degree turn to the right and
then the outlet comes into view downstream.

The last stretch starts with two log choked slot drops.

Right above Wahclella Falls is a 20 ft log choked slide
and a 40 ft. drop that pushes into an undercut on river left.

I'm guessing this is the slot where Seth Swallen belayed Erik Boomer
to run Wahclella. Wow!

Looking down at a hole at the lip of Wahclella Falls. Burly.

A photo from last spring of Boomer getting lowered into the slot above Wahclella.

It was a bitch of a hike out straight up from Wahclella Falls. It kind of discouraged me from wanting to hike a boat in to explore the upper slides, but it's one of the best hikes I've done in the gorge!

No comments: