Sitting Bull Falls has re-opened after almost two years of cleanup and reconstruction work!
It has been almost two years since the September 2013 flood when its infrastructure, mainly its observation deck and path, was wiped out. The massive flood from above threw dead trees down the falls and filled the lower pools with muddy ash from the 2011 fire as well, it was a mess.
But it has all been cleaned up, the Forest Service did its part and Mother Nature is working hard at growing restorative vegetation!
But one thing is sure about natural things: they change. The channel that brought some water, but not the main falls, two years ago, has apparently been downcut by the flood waters and is now the main falls channel: in the past the falls fell on the other side of the green cap, its path is still visible, but now it falls on this side of the green cap instead:
Judging by the number of people --of all ages-- having fun in the main pool below the falls, this channel re-adjustment is just fine!
The viewing platform used to be on the right side of the canyon, but the flood destroyed it and its pathway, so it was rebuilt more toward the center, which is also a good change since it allows views like these:
We then walked down to the busy pools. On a hot day like this, this place is very popular with families, which is a good thing:
We also took the trail to the top of the falls, where we beheld a man demonstrating the exit path out of the last pool before the fall to his wife and daughter, who remained unconvinced:
The stream feeding that pool and the falls is quite nicely recovered from the flood:
At this point we elected to climb out of this channel and take the official path (T-68) to see more:
Trail 68 would have taken us to the location of my favorite tree(s), but time is something that was in short supply and we turned around at this point.
The burnt trees are a sobering reminder of the devastating 2011 fire, but the lush greenery all around suggests that restoration is well in hand, the hand of Mother Nature.
If you want to see what the falls looked like before the fire and flood, please go here.
If you want to see the sad story of my favorite dancing tree(s), go here.
We will be back for more of Sitting Bull Falls. Of course.
In the meantime please visit other nearby locales on the New Mexico Home Page.
If you want to see where else we went in this year of 2015, please visit my 2015 Yearbook Page.
And if you want to just go home, here is my Home Page for ThoughtsandPlaces.Org.