16 February 2013

Nojoqui Falls

Nojoqui Falls Park

Locate the trail head.

I am not certain if we have ever gone to Nojoqui Falls as a specific destination, but we have often stopped by on our way to or from something else. The park is a few quick turns off the freeway and the waterfall is a few quick steps up a wide and easy path. I have been wanting to stop by it, but always seem to be going by after dark or wanting the little time it takes for whatever else it is I will be doing that day. Driving up to SLO to camp out and then work on Sunday gave me the perfect moment to stop by. My sister has taken to stopping by so often that she was driving off when I got there and had to come back around to make sure I knew it was her nondescript white pickup and not just any nondescript white pickup that was leaving. I grabbed camera and water and started up it in my sandals. Walking on dirt in these stone catchers almost always causes regret, but not on this trail. This trail has been worn into a paved like surface from the traffic.

trail head with sign
The park is open from 8 AM to sunset and dogs must be on leash for this short and well trod trail.

I quickly noticed the creek was dry. It doesn't seem like a good sign, but the water has often sunk into some underground route in the short distance from the waterfall to the parking lot. Benches appear often along the side of the short path and it manages to cross the creek three times on stout bridges along the way.

dry creek
The creek bed is bone dry near the parking lot, but this may not indicate a dry waterfall.

bridge and steps on the trail behind it
Solid bridges cross the creek in three places. The stone steps behind the bridge could make it difficult for those one wheels, although I have found a mountain unicycle bouncing down these steps one at a time.

another bridge, and now we see the water
Below the bridges, there is a flow of water, promising something coming over the waterfall ahead.

Then I turn the corner and there it is, the waterfall. Two thick streams of water cascade over the channels in the growing limestone.

Nojoqui Falls
The limestone cascade of Nojoqui Falls.

the very bottom of the waterfall which shows a gap at the bottom under the grown up limestone
The limestone doesn't grow at the very bottom where the pool interferes with that growth.

looking up the moss encrusted waterfall
Water is coming over in more than the two streams and the moss all over the rock can be seen dripping with it.

A sign by the platform on the left provides the bit of education about the area rocks and trees as well as the waterfall.

bottom of the waterfall again
Examining that ledge at the bottom of the waterfall.

looking up again
A bit more detail of the rocks of the waterfall.

Looking up from a little way back, I noticed a wooden fence at the top of the waterfall and wonder how one can get up to there. I've seen someone mention a trail that goes along behind this waterfall and on up toward Gaviota Peak, so perhaps that or some offshoot from it.

a bit of fencing at the top of the waterfall
There's no one up there now, but it sure looks like there could be sometimes.

Eventually I finished enjoying the waterfall and made my way back down the trail.

©2013 Valerie Norton
Posted 20 Feb 2013

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