Exploring Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County

Amphitheatre Falls along Campbells Run in the Pine Creek Gorge Pennsylvania

Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, Pennsylvania features an enormous amphitheater of rock (thus the name) surrounding a 25-foot waterfall that plunges down the Campbells Run Gorge near Tiadaghton.

Rusty Glessner at Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County Pennsylvania
The author at Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.

Seemingly inaccessible from all directions, the hike I’m going to describe here is NOT for beginners!

As with most hikes in the PA Grand Canyon, this is strictly hike at your own risk, and best done with a partner or group rather than solo.


How to Find Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County

The trailhead for this hike is the same as trailhead for the Campbells Run Falls hike – the Tiadaghton parking lot of the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

How to find Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County Pennsylvania
Map to Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.

In fact, the hike to Amphitheater Falls takes you past Campbells Run Falls, so I suggest you read that write-up before continuing.

To summarize: from the Tiadaghton parking lot, you’ll hike the rail trail 460 yards to Campbells Run, then hike the right side of the stream 0.4 miles to Campbells Run Falls.

Campbells Run Falls in Tioga County PA
Campbells Run Falls in Tioga County, PA.

Notice the ladder on the upper right hand side of Campbells Run Falls above?

This is your gut check!

To get upstream to Amphitheater Falls, you need to either scale the ladder, of find another way up and around Campbells Run Falls.

The ladder at Campbells Run Falls leading to Amphitheatre Falls upstream.
The ladder at Campbells Run Falls leading to Amphitheatre Falls upstream.

I cannot vouch for the safety of the ladder, or even guarantee that the ladder will be there.

All I can say is that it has been there the times I’ve visited, and I’ve scaled it without incident.

From the top of the ladder, Amphitheater Falls is approximately 250 yards upstream.


Photographing Amphitheater Falls

Amphitheater Falls lends itself well to long-exposure photography.

Fall foliage at Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, PA
Fall foliage at Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, PA.

It’s an excellent spot for “leaf peeping” in October.

Amphitheater Falls on Campbells Run in Tioga County PA
Amphitheater Falls on Campbells Run in Tioga County, PA.

Numerous cascades below Amphitheater Falls help add a sense of dynamics to your images.

Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County PA
Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, PA

Adding a fellow hiker to your images is a good way provide a sense of scale to the scene.

Amphitheater Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area Pennsylvania
Amphitheater Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.

Working your way up to the base of the falls, be prepared to deal with copious amounts of spray and mist.

Close-up of Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, Pennsylvania
Close-up of Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.

The walls of the “amphitheater” are best captured with a wide-angle lens, and even then you’ll not be able to get their entirety into the frame.

Amphitheater Falls on Campbells Run in Tioga County.
Amphitheater Falls on Campbells Run in Tioga County.

Photographing Amphitheater Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge is an opportunity that is earned, not given.

Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County
Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County.

But it WILL give you a sense of accomplishment like few other waterfall hikes can.



Nearby Attractions

Leonard Harrison State Park offers exceptional views of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

An observation area near the Turkey Path trailhead at the PA Grand Canyon.
An observation area near the Turkey Path trailhead at the PA Grand Canyon.

It is also home to the famous Turkey Path waterfall trail.

Observation area along the Turkey Path in the PA Grand Canyon.
Observation area along the Turkey Path in the PA Grand Canyon.

Across the canyon from Leonard Harrison State Park, Colton Point State Park also offers spectacular views and a waterfall trail.

The view of the PA Grand Canyon from Colton Point State Park
The view of the PA Grand Canyon from Colton Point State Park

Chimney Hollow Falls, near Colton Point State Park, is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Pine Creek Gorge.

Bohen Run Falls near Blackwell is a rugged 4 mile round-trip hike.

The author at Bohen Run Falls.
The author at Bohen Run Falls.

And the Pine Creek Rail Trail near Blackwell offers easy access to waterfalls on Stone Quarry Run and Water Tank Run.

Stone Quarry Run Falls in mid-March 2019.
Stone Quarry Run Falls along the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Tioga County.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel and adventure guide.

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