Basin Trail Cascades


Basin Trail Cascades is a beautiful waterfall located in Beans Purchase, New Hampshire. The waterfall has a total height of about 20 feet and it can be found along Blue Brook. Blue Brook flows strongest during spring when the snow melts. Considering the water flow is often greatest in the spring, the months of March, April, and May are recommended for visitors. That said, the Basin Trail Cascades is a great spot to visit year-round.

The waterfall itself drops in a unique formation consisting of cascades followed by a small plunge. It should be noted that during times of high water flow, a second waterfall forms. This second waterfall drops in a horsetail formation. It is a lovely waterfall and it drops just a few feet away from the main falls. 

Accessing the Basin Trail Cascades is not very easy. It requires driving in a remote region of New Hampshire and then completing a long out-and-back hike. That said, it is worth the journey and will be an adventure! 

The waterfall, as the name states, is located along the Basin Trail. The Basin Trail is a well-marked trail that stretches for many miles. Hikers looking to reach the cascades should park at Basin Park in Chatham, New Hampshire, and then hike Basin Trail to the Basin Trail Cascades. The hike to the waterfall is 2.9 miles one-way. Out-and-back, the trail is 5.8 miles and consists of 1,824 feet of elevation gain. This is not a quick or easy hike. Be sure to pack appropriately and be safe. 

It should be noted, that the falls can also be reached via a 2.6-mile out-and-back hike. This option can be completed for visitors parking at the Wild River Campground. The campground has very limited parking and can only be accessed via a 5-mile drive on a tight, gravel road.


Waterfall Specs

  • Height: Main falls drop 20 feet (an additional waterfall forms during high water levels – it is about 20 feet tall too)
  • Type: Main falls consist of cascades followed by a small plunge (the additional waterfall is a horsetail)
  • Water Source: Blue Brook¬†
  • Swimming: Poor – too shallow

Basin Trail Cascades Location

  • Park: Wild River Wilderness within the White Mountain National Forest
  • Address: Basin Road
  • Town: Beans Purchase
  • State: New Hampshire
  • GPS: 44.287444, -71.056968
  • Parking Notes: Parking is available at Basin Park in Chatham, New Hampshire. The parking lot is located along Basin Road / Forest Road and there are about two dozen spots. The trailhead to the waterfall is located on the eastern side of the lot.
  • Parking Directions: HERE
  • Location Directions: HERE


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