This is one of the Best waterfalls in the Northeast



 Abs Mag:


 Beisel Rating:

3.64 (Class 4)


150 feet

 Tallest Drop:

40 feet

 # of Drops:





Thompson Brook






USGS Carter Dome 7 1/2"


Aerial Photography


45 B8



The lower clam-shell shaped drop, click to enlarge

The 20' drop in the middle of the formation, click to enlarge

The second to last drop, click to enlarge

The lower drop from the middle of the brook below, click to enlarge

The final drop, click to enlarge

The second drop from the bottom, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge



Pinkhams Grant , Coos County, NH , USA


Also Known As:
Eastmans Falls (archaic name)



An old postcard image from the archive



There are 2 different waterfalls called Thompson Falls in the White Mountains, one is just west of North Conway, the other is in Pinkham Notch. This is, for my money, my favorite waterfall in the area. One doesn't merely have to be a spectator here. There are abundant ledges for climbing and exploring. There are no crowds to speak of, while other falls in the area can't make this claim. For those of us who like solitude, Thompson Falls is the ticket. After a short trail which starts behind the base lodge at Wildcat Mountain Ski Area, you cross an access road which is presumably used by the ski area. When you come out of the woods, you come face to face with the lower falls. In Bruce and Doreen Bolnick's excellent "Waterfalls of the White Mountains" this waterfall is described as "a giant clam shaped ledge". This is a very apt description. Above this fall, Thompson Brook goes through a series of falls, slides, and cascades. There is a rough trail that runs up one side or the other for the duration of the falls. When the trail stops rather abruptly, be sure to walk just a little further into the woods to view the final cascade. The name Eastmans Falls comes from the caption on an antique stereoview.


Geology and Bedrock Structure:

The falls slide down a long ledge of the gneissic Littleton Formation.




Photography Notes:

This is a particularly photogenic waterfall. The lower drop presents itself well. The 20' drop in the middle of the falls is also quite accommodating. Walking around and having a good look at the area is the key. You'll want a tripod, polarizer, and a warming filter. I shot the falls very early in the morning. Late afternoon and overcast days will also be good. You'll want focal lengths in the 35-105mm range. If you go during mid spring, you'll find thousands of pink lady slipper orchids, a pleasant bonus.



Take Route 16 into Pinkhams Notch to the Wildcat Mountain Ski Area. Walk around the base lodge on the left side, cross the small stream and follow the interpretive trail that goes off to the left. Follow this trail for about half a mile, cross the service road, and continue along the trail into the woods. You'll reach the lower drop in a few hundred feet.