Salmon River Gorge March 1983 Expedition Stein Falls

This spectacular view of Stein Falls is from the top of the debris pile. At this point, the noise from the falls has made it difficult for the members of the expedition to communicate at anything short of a loud yell. It is also at this point where we discover the secret to the volume of spray that decends from the falls down the canyon: in the absence of a splash pool, lower Stein Falls crashes onto a flat shelf of basalt, exploding into a roostertail of mist that is evident in photos that follow.

In this view, mist from upper Stein Falls can also be seen, floating directly above the brink of the lower falls in this picture. Judging by the size of the old growth cedars, hemlocks and Douglas fir in this part of the gorge, we estimated the cliffs around the falls to be roughly 300 feet of sheer basalt. Three distinct layers of these ancient lava flows can be seen in this photo, with the lip of the falls marking the break between two layers, and a second break visible at the midpoint of the falls. The flat platform that the falls crashes onto appeared to be a fourth, very hard layer.
These photos are ©Tom Kloster 1983, and may not be reproduced or used without permission Next Image from the March 1983 Expedition > < Back to Index Page