Abs Mag:


 Beisel Rating:

1.52 (Class 2)


8 feet

 Tallest Drop:

8 feet

 # of Drops:





Ammonoosuc River






USGS Mount Washington 7 1/2"


Aerial Photography


44 B3



The falls and deep green pool from the rocky beach below, click to enlarge

The falls from the adjacent rim of the gorge, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge



Crawfords Purchase , Coos County, NH , USA


Also Known As:
Upper Falls, Upper Falls of the Ammonoosuc



An old postcard image from the archive



I originally heard conflicting reports on the accessibility of this waterfall. Some sources indicated the surrounding area was posted, while others cited this as a great swimming hole. According to the 2nd edition of "Waterfalls of the White Mountains", it is once again accessible. In June 2002, I made a visit and found that the falls are no longer posted. One way or another, in high water, the hole below the falls has caused the accidental drownings of several people. When Bryan Swan and I visited the falls on a warm summer day, we saw a man ride the falls. We were scouting for photos, and weren't paying much attention. We heard a woman say, "That man didn't come up!" With a growing uneasy feeling, we were pondering what course of action to take, when the man popped up to the surface after 45 second to a minute of being underwater. He looked a little agitated. My feeling is that he got a scary ride in a recycling current. There is a nice footbridge over the gorge. The water sculpted granite is amazing. The Ammonoosuc River approaches the falls in a display of rapids and short bedrock dips before plunging into a turbulent pothole. The outlet of the pothole drops over a short (about 1' tall) ledge and opens into a larger pool which in turn drops over another 1' ledge into the final pool.


Geology and Bedrock Structure:

The falls have carved a tremendously sculpted gorge in a mass of the Two Mica Granite (formerly known as the Bickford Granite)




Photography Notes:

This is one of the more photogenic waterfalls I've been to. There are seeming endless compositions available, so have a good look around. While looking, think about macro compositions too. You could spend a whole day there. You'll want a tripod and a polarizer. I think a warming filter might render the falls a little too warm, but that's a matter of personal taste. Overcast days are best, and I strongly advise an early morning shoot, particularly in the summer time. If you show up on a warm summer day, you'll find dozens and dozens of visitors. A wide range of focal lengths are helpful here, but for the most part, you should be able to capture the falls and environs with a 35-105mm lens.



Take Route 302 to Fabyan and turn north on Base Road, leading to the Cog Railroad. Look for a wide dirt spot on the right side of the road about 2.3 miles from the Route 302 intersection. There is a short trail leading to the footbridge over the falls.