Also check out my photos from St. Elmo ghost town at the upper end of Chalk Creek Canyon, taken later the same day.
Copyright (c) 2007, Sandra J. Loosemore. Photos are provided for personal viewing only; no other use is permitted without prior written consent.
Here's a view of Mt. Princeton, the general area of this hike's
destination. The road leads up Chalk Creek, the next canyon south from
my previous day's hike to the Mt. Yale area.
The mountain on the south side of the road is Mt. Antero, named after a
Native American chief instead of a university.|
Kaeru the hardy mountain frog poses at the trailhead. This hike is short
but the top section is a steep, rough scramble.|
According to an interpretive sign along the trail, Agnes Vaille was a friend of a local resort owner who died young in a mountaineering accident. It wasn't clear to me if she ever visited the falls that now bear her name.
Looking across the canyon, you can see an old railroad grade. This is the
route of the Denver, South Park & Pacific railway line between Buena Vista and
Gunnison. At the top of the canyon, past St. Elmo,
the railroad crossed under the Continental Divide via the now-collapsed
The white peak in the background here is the shoulder of Mt. Antero.
Here's a view up the lower section of trail, though an open pine forest.
Even though it's called "Chalk Canyon", the white rocks are actually
Even at this low elevation, there are signs of the
previous day's snowfall.|
The pines here had really big cones.
Eventually, the trail meets up with the creek.|
By this point, the trail has pretty much vanished. You're just supposed to
clamber up among the rocks on the left side of the creek any which way you
And then the falls come into view up ahead. You can see how rocky and steep
the way is here, with lots of boulders and loose rock.
Signs at the trailhead warn about how dangerous it is
to climb up or under the waterfall; apparently every year people are killed
Getting a bit closer to the falls now.|
And here we are.|
Climbing up a bit higher along the side of the falls, here's a view from
underneath of water shooting out over the top of the falls.|
And here's a shot of all the spray coming down at the base of the falls. It
was pretty wet where I was standing to take this photo.|
Ah, a frog in his natural habitat.|
Here's a view across the canyon from the falls, with Mt. Antero peeking out
on the other side.|