Breathtaking Baatara Gorge Waterfall & Cave of the Three Bridges [31 PICS]

August 23rd, 2012 Permalink

In Lebanon, the beautiful Baatara gorge waterfall cascades 837 feet (255 m) down in a thunderous roar during spring as the snow melts. Although a sign cautions not to climb around too close to the possibly slick edges at the risk of slipping and plunging to your death, nothing prepares a person to be so in awe of nature as the cavern opens up to house magnificent three-tiered natural bridges. This wonder of nature is also called the “Cave of the Three Bridges,” an abyss, “Three Bridges Chasm”, sinkhole, “pothole” and “hole in the wall.” During spring and early summer, the wildflowers are in full bloom making it a great time to hike the Tannourine Cedar Forest Reserve, part of the Lebanon Mountain Trail, that takes adventurers to the immense and breathtaking Baatara gorge waterfall. [31 Photos]

Beautiful Baatara gorge waterall in the Tannourin mountains of Lebanon

When snow melts in the spring, the water forms this huge Baatara gorge waterfall in the Tannourin mountains of Lebanon. Photo #1 by Eli+

Bal'a Tannourine بالوع بلعة تنورين

The photographer wrote, “‘Bal’a Tannourine’ a massive sinkhole that goes 836.6 feet (255 meters) deep in the mountain and has 3 natural bridges.” Locals report, “The Tannourine area of Balaa is breathtakingly beautiful during the snow melt season. A long time ago there was a blue road sign there, riddled with bullet holes and twisted by the vagaries of the weather, on which was written Gouffre des Trois Ponts, The Three Bridges Chasm. Glancing both right and left, one sees nothing, nothing to indicate that one has only to go down for some five minutes into the valley below on the left to find oneself stopped, with bated breath, before the fantastic panorama presenting itself to one’s eyes: three natural bridges, rising one above the other over a height of one hundred metres and overhanging the enormous mouth of a chasm plunging 250 metres deep into the bowels of Mount Lebanon! During the months of March and April, when the snows are melting, one sees a mighty 100-metre cascade which thunders and roars behind the three bridges before being swallowed up in the earth.” Photo #2 by Rabih


Lebanon, Baatara gorge waterfall

Baatara Pothole is a cave of Jurassic limestone featuring the fantastic Baatara gorge waterfall Photo #3 by ghassan_elali

Waterfall into Tannourine sinkhole, Lebanon

Waterfall into Tannourine sinkhole. This three-tiered massive sinkhole is a natural phenomena which has taken millions of years from the time of the Jurassic dinosaurs to etch and carve out an 820 feet (250 meter) deep cavern. Photo #4 by Rabih

Looking down at sinkhole Baatara gorge waterfall

Waterfall and looking way, way down into Baatara sinkhole. Photo #5 by ghassan_elali

Baatara abyss gap of three bridges - Dry season at Baatara gorge

Dry season at Baatara gorge “gap of three bridges.” Photo #6 by Ala Needlewoman

Looking across the Baatara abyss gap

The cave is also called the “Cave of the Three Bridges.” Looking across the Baatara abyss gap to one of three the natural bridges. Photo #7 by ghassan_elali

Looking down at the Baatara abyss gap

Looking down into the Baatara abyss gap. This whole area has an underground system of passages that continue to morph into an even bigger cavern as the rock freezes in winter and thaws in spring. Photo #9 by ghassan_elali

Tannourine falls HDR using Photomatix and then a bit with Topaz

This waterfall and accompanying sinkhole were discovered in 1952 by French bio-speleologist Henri Coiffait, but were not completely mapped until the 1980s by the Spéléo club du Liban. Tannourine falls “HDR using Photomatix and then a bit with Topaz,” explained the photographer. Photo #10 by Serge Melki

Baatara 'hole in the wall'

Baatara ‘hole in the wall.’ Wikipedia states, “Traveling from Laklouk to Tannourine one passes the village of Balaa, and the ‘Three Bridges Chasm’ (in French ‘Gouffre des Trois Ponts’) is a five-minute journey into the valley below where one sees three natural bridges, rising one above the other and overhanging a chasm descending into Mount Lebanon.” Photo #11 by Rabih

Tannourine Falls HDR

Tannourine Falls HDR. “During the spring snow melt, a 90-100-metre (300-330 ft) cascade falls behind the three bridges and then down into the 250-metre (820 ft) chasm.” Photo #12 by Serge Melki

Hovering high above Lebanon, Aerials of Baatara gorge waterfall

Top aerial map — The tiny blue dot on the left is Baatara gorge waterfall as seen from Bing Bird’s Eye view; Bottom map as seen from Google satellite. Photo #13 by Map (top): Bing Bird’s Eye & by Google Maps (bottom)

Tannourine Cedar Reserve, Lebanon

Zooming out to show one way to reach the waterfall. During spring and early summer, the wildflowers are in full bloom making it a great time to hike the Tannourine Cedar Forest Reserve. Photo #14 by Heather Cowper

Walking in the Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature reserve, part of the Lebanon Mountain Trail

The photographer noted, “I spent the day walking in the Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature reserve, in Northern Lebanon. It’s part of the Lebanon Mountain Trail. Here we stopped for lunch under a cedar near the entrance to the reserve.” Photo #15 by Heather Cowper

Decaying Station of Mary on Stairway to Heaven Lebanon

“Numerous Mary statues in various states of decay dot ‘Darb Essama,’ which means ‘Stairway to Heaven’,” wrote the photographer. It’s a “pilgrim’s trail to the cathederal at Harissa, Jouneih, Lebanon. Many are positioned at key stopping points, sometimes accompanied by a bench to allow the pilgrim to pause and reflect (or just catch their breath.)” Photo #16 by Melissa Wall

Hiking in Lebanon, another waterfall along the trail outside of Assia

Hiking in Lebanon, another waterfall along the trail outside of Assia. The Lebanon Mountain Trail (LMT) extends from Qbaiyat in the north of Lebanon to Marjaayoun in the south with a 270 mile (440 km) path that transects more than 75 towns and villages at altitudes ranging from about 3,000-5,600 feet (600 to 2,000 meters) above sea level. Photo #17 by Melissa Wall

Lebanon Cedar in Barouk, Lebanon

Lebanon Cedar in Barouk. Photo #18 by Olivier BEZES

After walking in the Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature reserve, we stopped off at the Baatara Pothole near Tannourine al Fawqa

The photographer noted, “After walking in the Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature reserve, we stopped off at the Baatara Pothole near Tannourine al Fawqa.” Photo #19 by Heather Cowper

Tannourine Falls -- The basin in the distance

Tannourine Falls — The basin in the distance. Photo #20 by Serge Melki

Tannourine Falls Panorama of two shots. The pit is very deep, my wide angle couldn't take it all in one shot

“Tannourine Falls Panorama of two shots,” noted the photographer. “The pit is very deep, my wide angle couldn’t take it all in one shot.” Photo #21 by Serge Melki

Baatara Pothole, near the village of Tannourine al Fawqa

Baatara Pothole, near the village of Tannourine al Fawqa. Photo #22 by Heather Cowper

Overview while hiking, looking down at Baatar abyss

Overview while hiking, looking down at Baatar abyss. You walk into the open cave system with water is cascading off the rock formations roof. Some adventurers and adrenaline junkies climb around on limestone bridges over the huge pothole below . . . or go deeper yet to cave. Photo #23 by ghassan_elali

Lebanon, Baatara gorge in Tannourine

Tents and the cross on the rock. Be careful not to fall into the phenomenal pit of Baatara gorge. Photo #24 by ghassan_elali

Tannourine, the meadow that leads to the waterfall. To understand the scale of the waterfall, look how small the person standing on the right side seems

Tannourine, “the meadow that leads to the waterfall,” explained the photographer. “To understand the scale of the waterfall, look how small the person standing on the right side seems.” Photo #25 by Rabih

The Baatara Pothole, near Tannourine

The Baatara Pothole Photo #26 by Heather Cowper

Station of Mary and cross as seen while nearing Baatara gorge waterfall in Tannourine, Lebanon

Station of Mary and cross as seen while nearing Baatara waterfall. Photo #27 by ghassan_elali

Looking up from the Baatara abyss gap

Looking up from the Baatara abyss. Photo #28 by ghassan_elali

Looking up at Baatara gorge waterfall

Looking up at Baatara gorge waterfall. Photo #29 by ghassan_elali

Nature is gloriously gorgeous at Baatara gorge waterfall, Lebanon

Baatara gorge waterfall is one of the most beautiful in the world. Can you imagine if you had the place all to yourself to explore and play your way through a wonderful nature adventure? You can also see a movable panorama view of Bridges Chasm. Photo #31 by The_Doctor_00 via Reddit EarthPorn


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