The Essentials

Avalanche Falls

G Rating 6.0
WOW Factor 3

Plumb Rating 


Height: 25'


Distance: 1.4 mi (RT)



GPS and Map Details
Latitude:   44° 6.012' N
Longitude: 71° 40.152' W
Elevation:   ~1,600 ft
Face:         ~260° (WSW)

Maps:  Topozone


Avalanche Falls in Franconia Notch State Park


Avalanche Falls, Flume Gorge, White Mountain National Forest


The view approaching Avalanche Falls


Photo Tips


Waterfall Posters



New Hampshire



Avalanche Falls

Flume Gorge, Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

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Avalanche Falls in Flume Gorge

Avalanche Falls (7/31/2005, 22 mm, f/16, 2 sec, ISO 100)


This beautifully located waterfall can be found in the Flume Gorge of Franconia Notch State Park.  The state park is located in the White Mountain National Forest and runs for about eight miles along I-93 from Flume Gorge at the southern end to Echo Lake on the northern end.


This is not a free state park.  Park hours and rates can be found here.


There are several other good waterfalls within Franconia Notch State Park, including Liberty Gorge Cascade and The Pool (within the Flume Gorge area), The Basin, Cascade Brook Falls, Cloudland Falls, and Kinsman Falls, to name a few.



Getting There

Flume Gorge is well marked.  Your best bet is to visit the Franconia Notch State Park website for directions.



Hike Details

Avalanche Falls is at the top of Flume Gorge and the trail begins behind the visitor's center.  The less adventurous can hitch a ride to the bottom of Flume Gorge on one of the park's passenger buses. 


Starting at the visitor's center, the round trip hike to the falls, Liberty Gorge Cascade, and The Pool is just over 2 miles.  For just Avalanche Falls, the hike is 0.7 miles one way.  Taking the shuttle bus will cut your distance by 0.5 miles.


For more details on this popular loop hike, check out this great description on GORP.



Photo Tips


Without a tripod you will be out of luck here, especially in mid-summer or Fall when the volume is down.  However, if you followed my advice and brought a good tripod you're in for a treat.  This waterfall makes a great photo at slow shutter speeds.


A normal-to-wide angle lens will be required as you are very close to the waterfall.


For best results you will need a polarizer to reduce glare on the rocks and foliage.  Also pay close attention to composition and how much sunlight is hitting the rocks.  There are no problems with bright skies or horizon issues but if the sun is out or if the clouds are thin you could have problems with overexposure on the rocks.  Try bracketing some, about 1/2 to 1 stop underexposure or so.


One other piece of advice.


Be patient.  Wait out the crowds.  They tend to come by in waves because of the shuttle buses.  The boardwalk is narrow so you'll have to work quickly to get your pictures.  It's worth the wait.  If you're like me you probably won't be back.  Make it count.



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