Placer Creek Falls

(nr Hopewell Lake NM)
Along my route north was said to be Placer Creek Falls, a pretty double-drop waterfall. It was near Hopewell Lake, and a short way off the highway down a gravel road; which was gated and closed for elk calving season.

Placer Creek Falls

Placer Creek Falls – Approach

Fortunately, hiking in was still allowed. Since the creek was only supposed to be about 1/2 mile, I ventured forth. It wasn’t long before finding the path aside the creek that led to the falls. You could see the gap in the cliffs where the drops likely flowed.

Placer Creek Falls

First Waterfall Drop & Pool

Placer Creek Falls

Close-up View

The first fall was soon spotted after crossing a watershed area around the depleted stream. There was only a small flow of water, due to the extremely dry season this year. A quiet pool at the base, with lots of vegetation, made a pretty scene.

Placer Creek Falls

Rugged Cliff by Falls

Placer Creek Falls

Rocky Edge to Creek

Surrounded by rugged cliffs, and some loose rocks on both sides, it took careful climbing to get up to the next portion. And yes, there was another drop and little pool. Plus, a bonus third drop a bit higher still.

Placer Creek Falls

Second Waterfall Drop & Pool

Placer Creek Falls

Third Waterfall Drop & Pool

I suspect the top two drops appear as one when the water is flowing strongly. To see that, one needs to come in late April or early May after a wet Winter. There could still be snow at that time, or at least plenty of mud. Perhaps difficulty approaching across the wetland at the bottom.

Placer Creek Falls

Wildflowers by the Falls

Placer Creek Falls

More Wildflowers Next to Pool

There were also some wildflowers growing around the moist pools. I almost didn’t go because it had been so dry. However, I was camped nearby and it rained a little the day before. So, I did get to see the falls ever so slightly.

Camp: Carson NF-Hopewell Stock Pens boondock
Scene: Cliffs, rocks, waterfalls, wildflowers

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6 Responses to Placer Creek Falls

  1. Barney Ward July 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

    A very nice place it seems to me. Thanks for the report.

    • Pleinguy July 13, 2018 at 1:34 pm #

      It was indeed very nice. But, I’d like to see it with more water.

  2. Martha July 15, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

    The scenery is exceptional! It’s the kind of place I love to be.

    • Pleinguy July 15, 2018 at 4:06 pm #

      You would enjoy it for sure. I know I did.

  3. Lincoln Ritterhouse January 14, 2022 at 3:02 am #

    Do you have more pictures of this area? I am planning a vacation later this year. Lincoln, A born Okie.

    • Pleinguy January 14, 2022 at 10:10 am #

      You can see more photos of this general area of northern New Mexico in these other posts: Forest Walks, Jawbone Mountain, Rocks in the Woods, Three Rocks Hike, Río Grande Gorge, Brazos Cliffs, Views Near Some Camps. Enter the titles in the “search” window at the top of the blog. You can also find other things of interest by using this method. Thanks for viewing Lincoln.

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