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December 10, 2011 - Sandstone Cave & Waterfalls

I hiked through a really nice area today (3 miles total). I first had to get from the parking spot (google earth has the road labeled as County Road 13 - I parked at the end of it) down to Clear Creek. There is a pretty solid bluffline through there but eventually I found a way down (and found the remains of a frost flower). As I rounded the corner around the bluff I saw some rocks piled up next to the cliff and so I went over to investigate. The rocks were piled in front of a wonderous sandstone cave (located somewhere around here). I must have spent a hour in there! The rock strata in the area is of course nearly horizontal but there were lines going all over the place in the cave. The red colors and layers are the giveaway to whats going on. All of the colors, banding, waves, and everything else in the cave is from Liesegang Banding (rings). The rocks at the entrance have a pretty good accumulation of moss and fungi so there werent put there recently! I finally left the cave and made my way down to the creek and followed it west for a ways until I began the journey up a big side drainage. Ive explored the upper reaches of it and found some tall waterfalls and a great canyon. The lower section was mostly devoid of anything until the target area. I could tell there was likely something there from google earth and of course it was in the elevation range of the thick waterfall forming sandstone layer that most of my major waterfall finds were associated with. There wasnt any tall falls on the main creek but there was some on the sides of the canyon but nothing great. The waterfalls on the creek were really nice (located here: 35.629879, -93.679692). There were 5 really nice waterfall/cascades. The tallest was around 10ft.

Clear Creek

The big side drainage. The waterfalls up in the top section that I found last year are certainly big enough to be named. I am thinking of naming them something along the lines of Reflection Creek Falls (since the creek doesnt have a name). I think my favorite of these is the second.



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