Rappelling Through Waterfalls

Before we left Upland, CA to set up base camp in Joshua Tree National Park, Jennilyn proposed that we (Jennilyn, Ben, and Doug Farnsworth) go explore the waterfalls in San Antonio Creek Canyon. Awesome.

We left before the sun came up, thinking that we might be in this alpine canyon for around 7 hours. The drive consisted of driving up Mt Baldy and parking at the Mt Baldy ski resort. We walked to the base of the last waterfall that we’d end up rappelling down. This is where the fun started.

We hiked up the ridge that runs above the canyon that we were going to be inside of. It was a steep hike up a dusty and loose rock slope. There were just enough yucca plants for each one of us to get impelled in the hand or leg. I use to like yucca plants, but now I don’t.

Dropping into the canyon to access the creek was a nice warm-up rappel before we rappelled down steep rock with water gushing on top of us.

Once we were standing in the creek, we hardly did any hiking. It was just rappel after rappel over one waterfall to the next. We did four separate rappels over top or through four to seven individual waterfalls.

The first rappel only got our feet wet by rappelling to the side of a 50ft vertical waterfall, walking though its pool and then rappelling down a small ramp waterfall.

We got drenched on the second or third rappel because we had to start on the right side of the fall and then traverse over to land on the ground on the left side. Our bodies were pounded by the water as we tried to drop as fast as we could. We couldn’t see anything with the water engulfing our heads.

The last waterfall was very tall and steep with a crowd at the bottom to watch us. It was a sunny and hot day, so all the spectators were sitting there at the base of the waterfall with sleeveless shirts and shorts. They must have thought that we were aliens when we came down the waterfall all soaked with long pants and rain jackets with the hoods covering our heads. We may have looked funny, but we had the most fun. (Oh, and it didn't take 7 hours more like 3 or four.)