Middle Fork Tule River Falls

Sequoia National Forest / near Porterville / Tulare County, California, USA

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Middle Fork Tule River Falls
Middle Fork Tule River Falls is a short but sweet waterfall that we happened to notice while we were driving the twisty Hwy 190 between Springville and Ponderosa.

This waterfall (said to be 50ft though we think it might be shorter than that) resided in a part of the Sequoia National Forest that belonged to the Tule River District. According to the literature, there are many waterfalls on the Tule River, but for one reason or another, most of them are not safely accessible. However, this waterfall was the exception to that statement although it wasn't necessarily an easy thing to do to get close to it.

First, we had to identify the right pullout as there was no signpost indicating where to get started (see directions below). Next, we had to descend on a fairly steep and primitive scramble where there was an easy-to-miss turnoff that ultimately led to a profile look at the falls. Continuing on the wrong path would've led to some unremarkable upper cascades though I suspect some young folks who think they're indestructible might actually stream scramble downstream from here to the top of the falls.

Anyways, we were content with the view of the falls from the apparent end of the 1/4-mile (each way) scramble. It was desirable to continue to see if there was a more frontal look at the falls from up this close, but from what we were able to tell, the scrambling became steeper and more dangerous so we didn't push the issue any further.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Distant look against the sun from Hwy 190 of Middle Fork Tule River FallsDistant look against the sun from Hwy 190 of Middle Fork Tule River Falls
The Middle Fork Tule River Falls was on the way to the Great Western Divide from Porterville, and we'd eventually get these views of the Needles deep in the Sequoia National ForestThe Middle Fork Tule River Falls was on the way to the Great Western Divide from Porterville, and we'd eventually get these views of the Needles deep in the Sequoia National Forest
Nearby Ponderosa, where we were staying for the night, was a short trail accessing the top of Dome Rock, which was a nice place to see the sunrise as shown hereNearby Ponderosa, where we were staying for the night, was a short trail accessing the top of Dome Rock, which was a nice place to see the sunrise as shown here
Mom and Dad on the scrambling path amidst wildflowers in search of a closer look at Middle Fork Tule River FallsMom and Dad on the scrambling path amidst wildflowers in search of a closer look at Middle Fork Tule River Falls

First closer look at Middle Fork Tule River FallsFirst closer look at the falls

Looking downstream where a rainbow showed up in the Middle Fork Tule River Falls' mistLooking downstream where a rainbow showed up in the waterfall's mist

Another look at Middle Fork Tule River FallsAnother look at the falls

Looking down the canyon after having our fill of the Middle Fork Tule River FallsLooking down the canyon after having our fill of the falls

Our first look at Middle Fork Tule River Falls from back in 2002Our first look at the falls from back in 2002


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Sweep of the main falls. Please excuse the poor quality as this video is ancient.


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

As stated earlier, the falls can be found on Highway 190 between Springville and Ponderosa. You can see this waterfall from the road (there are no pullouts for this view however), but you get a closer and more satisfying view from a scramble on one of the unsigned pullouts about 1.7 miles east of the Camp Wishon turnoff (Road 208).



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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS



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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Hiking with kids...... (@ Middle Fork Tule River Falls) 
This hike is worth it!! Although this hike is only about 30 min. The rocks are really slick and slippery. After climbing down off the trail onto the …

Tule river water fall 
I was going there with my friends in the early 70's when I was in high school. My brothers in the 60's. There was no trail, no trash, no other people …

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