We didn’t see the sign until we had ever so carefully climbed down the two flights, holding onto the rails and gingerly stepping on the rusty metal edges in case more of the wood gave way. Then at the bottom there it was, blown off to the side, saying: Danger! The stairs are closed…with little fluttering broken pieces of caution tape tied to the rails. Would it have made a difference if we had seen the sign beforehand? No, because we had hiked 2 miles of steep switch backs through loose gravel and granite and there was no way we would turn around without swimming in the glorious pool at the bottom.
Our intent had been to make it all they way to Curtain Falls (which you can see back in the following image) but it was a bit more treacherous than we were prepared for. Next time, we will pack twice the water and a waterproof bag to swim and scramble over boulders all the way to the waterfall.
The view of Bald Rock Dome, of the granite sides of the canyon, and the verdant forest are well worth the perilous hike and several days of ache that follow.