Smith Falls is a decent little waterfall along Champion Creek, though considering the nature of the gorge downstream it seems rather anticlimactic in comparison. Driving up to the falls, one must possess nerves of steel and a car they don't mind subjecting a little torture to. The road is not maintained by the forest service, but since there are numerous private mining claims in the area, it remains drivable most of the year. Four wheel drive and high clearance are, however, recommended - there are many parts where substantial rocks protrude 6-8 inches above the road service. The road climbs up a precarious path, at times perched between a solid wall of rock on one side, and a sheer drop of over 100 feet on the other side, so hats off to the constructors of the road (just hope you don't have to pass anyone in one of these areas). After two miles of white knuckle driving, the stream finally meets up with the road at this 25-foot waterfall, easily visible without any sort of scrambling or bushwhacking. Champion Creek is fairly large, so it maintains a good flow most of the year, but I imagine this would still be a more impressive waterfall earlier in the year.
- Smith Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
The falls are named for one "Bohemia" Smith, credited with discovering the Twin Rocks Mine further up in the drainage. Smith was said to have been traveling home from Lund Park while substantially inebriated, when he slipped and fell off a cliff, landing in a small tree, unscathed. When he was found suspended in the tree, he was said to be singing merrily, holding his empty whiskey jug.
Exit Interstate 5 at Cottage Grove (Exit 174) and drive east on Row River Road for approximately 19 1/2 miles to signed Brice Creek Road # 22. Follow Brice Creek Road for 8.4 miles and bear right (uphill) along Champion Creek Road #2473 - just before crossing Brice Creek for the third time. Follow this rough, but drivable road for 2.4 miles to where the falls can be seen next to the road, shortly after paralleling a deep canyon. The road is narrow and pullouts are few, so use caution when driving this route as you may not be able to pass anyone coming the other direction.