Conklin Gully

Our goal was Conklin Gully, which is in the Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area near Naples. To get there we had to drive through the town of Italy. We got a bit lost due to insufficient mappage and the fact that every single road confusingly had the name "Italy" in it. We did find the falls eventually.

Conklin Gully itself is a large series of waterfalls in a gorge. The most exciting way to see them all is to start at the bottom and climb up each in turn. Once you get past the first set of falls, it is too late to go back, so you continue onward no matter how scary it might seem...

Near the start there is a huge falls coming in from a side stream, but it was entirely dried up the day we were there. We'll have to come back again some day!

The first set of falls we encountered didn't seem so bad:

But things start to get steeper. Notice the big cliff in the background already:

Here is Kristina bravely climbing. Luckily we had not had much rain recently, so the water levels were low.

Every time we got to the top of a falls, there would be an ampitheater, the stream would make a right angle turn, and more falls would follow:

Yet more falls:

Looking up the gorge from the bottom:

This falls was the scariest to climb, as it was slippery and had no good footholds. Luckily there were still fresh footprints from some earlier climbers, so we knew it was possible.

At the top of that falls was a giant millipede:

Nearing the end, and the rock layers were getting thinner:

Finally, we made it to the top, and we could look down on where we had just been. Notice the haze to the horizon, unfortunately the haze would be with us for the entire weekend.

The return rim trail was almost scarier than climbing up the falls. It was extremely steep, had no fence, and was a long drop to the river below.

Here is the general area on the GPS. We did not do all the hopping about the plot suggests; the GPS unit did not get a good signal down in the gorge, and I had it strapped to my back because I needed my hands free for climbing.

On to Lower Clark Gully and Camping Adventures