Lower Hidden Falls

Mary Jane Falls

Old T-Bar Lift Ruin

View up Hidden Falls Canyon from T-Bar Ruin

There is a little known waterfall in Kyle Canyon of the Spring Mountains NRA that flows during snow melt season. This year, 2019, it is flowing big time down from the South Loop ridge. Dubbed "Hidden Falls" because it is tucked within two descending limestone ridges, the waterfall can only be viewed in its last 300 feet as a whole. The entire waterfall is perhaps around 1300 feet tall – over half of the height of Yosemite Falls! Woohoo! 😃Anyway, I was so excited about going to see this beautiful waterfall for the first time that I forgot the most important thing … my camera! Never fear, I had my trusty phone camera.

Morning Wake-Up Call on T-Bar Slope

Twelve hikers parked at the lower end of the Trail Canyon Trailhead and crossed the dirt road below. Following the empty space to the right of the utility buildings, we found an old very steep gravel trail heading up the ridge. (Good morning, folks!)

Group crossing over to Other Side of Wash

We huffed and puffed up the hill and arrived at the top where the trail will continue into the Hidden Falls Canyon. Here, there is an old rusted piece of equipment. That steep trail was once an old T-Bar lift slope. There is a small old ski slope nearby. (Circa ?1930-50?)

Best Trail on Right Side of Wash

Crossing Creek before Falls

We followed the trail down into the canyon and up next to the wash. There wasn't too much brush to deal with until we came to a fork in the trail. After trying the left fork on the left side of the wash (since there was a cairn there … ) we decided that the right fork was the better trail. Stay right! The falls are visible from the curve in the canyon. There are some steep little hills along the way but the climb really isn't too bad. Nearing the base of the falls, we had to cross over to the left side of the creek. Some of us went up the middle of the shallow water. The waterfall is running strong and presents a beautiful multi-level drop. Many photos were taken!

Lower Hidden Falls with Xiang and Mike

A little bit of snow still covered the sides of the base but it was easily avoided. We finally turned to go down. This time, we stayed on the north side of the canyon all the way to the short climb up to the old T-Bar equipment.

Kyle Canyon from Descent

There, at the ruin, we noticed a small trail leading diagonally northeast down the hill. This would be a much better way to descend than the steep treacherous gravel of the T-Bar slope.

Waiting for Hikers to Negotiate the Steep Trail

Hiking up Wash to Mary Jane Falls Trailhead

So, we followed the small trail down where it passed the old ski slope and finally reached the wash below. Gathering again, we turned left to hike up the wide wash to the Mary Jane Falls / Big Falls Trailhead and restroom. After a short pit stop, we started up the approach trail for the two familiar waterfalls. Not too far up the trail, we saw two mule deer. It's always pleasant to see gentle wildlife. We hiked up to the log junction slowly but deliberately – resting for what was to come! Over the log, we started up the old road/trail. This is the historic trail for Mary Jane Falls. It is very steep and laborious, good for a complete workout!

Mule Deer on Mary Jane Falls Trail

There are several fallen trees across the trail requiring hikers to go around them to add insult to injury on the steep climb! Then, the very last stretch up the water drainage area is just about all you can do!

Approach Trail to Mary Jane Falls

Once up on the terrace below the waterfall(s), we were able to take a break and enjoy the surrounding beauty. The "corner drainage" waterfall was flowing stronger than I have ever witnessed!

Climbing the Very Steep Old Road/Trail to Mary Jane Falls

Almost There

The day was a Thursday so our early hour helped when it came to crowds. Mary Jane Falls is a very popular hike for most Las Vegan recreationalists. Remember this if you wish to do this hike on a weekend day. However, this morning, there were only around ten other hikers sitting around the large area and we were able to walk around and take photos at will. It was decided to omit the optional short hike over to the Mary Jane Cave. But, we enjoyed viewing Kyle Canyon and Big Falls from the Mary Jane lookout and sitting among the waterfalls' spray at the base of the rocks. Very cool! Several of the twelve hikers today do not get to see this waterfall every year since many moderately strenuous and strenuous hikes bypass the populated area. So, with the extra water flow, everyone enjoyed the visit then we were on our way down. The descent was accomplished along the switchbacks of the "new" trail. Even though the switchback section is showing a lot of wear and tear, it is still a much more gentle way to see Mary Jane Falls!

Mary Jane Falls – High Flow at Corner

As we switchbacked our way down, we passed more and more recreationalists. Couples, families, camp kids and dogs of all sizes. Looked like we just missed the crowd!

Corner Spray at Mary Jane Falls

We love to see hikers of all sorts out and enjoying nature. And, in Las Vegas, there are a lot of them!

Big Falls as seen from Mary Jane Falls

Kyle Canyon from Mary Jane Falls

I made sure that all the hikers in the group made it down the switchbacks and then down the approach trail. We started off together again from the Mary Jane Falls Trailhead. Our first thought was to return via the road until a couple of cars passed stirring up the dust! We dropped into the woods on the right at the end of the parking lot and following a very vague trail back to the cars. People have done this before! It's much more pleasant. Everyone enjoyed the short and hard workout. This is a great group!
4.5 miles; 2150 feet elevation gain; 3.25 hours

Descending the Switchbacks

Starting down the Approach Trail

Nearing the Trailhead after taking Woods Trail