Mt. Baldy Waterfall

1999 April

Mt. Baldy Waterfall

Highlights of the time I spent in Rancho Cucamonga are few are far between, but the waterfall en route to Mt. Baldy certainly fits the bill. A ranger told us about it, but it wasn’t until we actually saw it in person that we could actually appreciate it. Near the top of the falls, graffiti covers the rocks and trash is strewn about. This is sad but not surprising considering how accessible this wonder is. Where the water starts down, there is a narrow chute that is perhaps 3 feet wide, 20 feet long and forms and angle of about 60 degrees from horizontal; within this chute the walls of the slide rise vertically. At the end of this slide is a vertical drop of about 10 feet into a pool with a diameter of about 20 feet. Directly below the falls the pool was about 8 feet deep, no more.

My dimensions are probably a bit off, but you get the picture. Waterslide parks don’t even have anything this cool. The first time that we visited the falls a few people where at the bottom and a young kid was at the top, getting up his nerve to slide down. Eventually he did, and then we did as well, although we certainly wouldn’t have if we hadn’t seen someone do it before us. To leave the pool you have to go downstream several hundred yards before you climb out on the right, even then, it is up a wall of loose rock.

Now the real crazy story begins much later, back at home watching reality television. Above the start of the slide and directly above the pool is a flat area. This area is at least 50 feet above the pool. I would not even consider the jump, but these guys did. The first one went feet first, without checking the water depth first, and was visibly shaken when he dragged himself out of the pool. Later the show would say that he broke his back. Due to the waterfall noise and distance though, he could not relay any information to the people above, so they thought that he was fine and the water level was adequate. So the second man jumps, headfirst! When he surfaced his face was bloody but he was none the worse for wear. I think the diver had to help the jumper get out.

Where's Waldo?, I mean Emily. Hint: she is hiding behind a bush at the edge of the parking lot leading to the slide. This picture is looking down the canyon.

Here I am sitting on a graffiti covered pipe. This is a view looking up the canyon.

Ahh, Errr, Hmmm? I’m going down that?

Yippee! Here I go. Hope the water level isn’t too low. You can see car tires at the downstream end of the pool.

I made it down safe and sound. Say Emily, you sure look small up there. Throw down the camera so I can get a photo of you from down here.

Emily, the smart member of this relationship, stayed up top on this trip to the waterslide. The area that we saw people jump from on a reality TV show is to the left of Emily and out of the picture, but way above her.

Blooming Yucca in the Mt. Baldy area.

Should you go the waterslide, you must go downstream to climb out of the canyon. Next time I will bring my jumper cables so we can get this car started.