Chasing Waterfalls in Washington

March 10, 2023

waterfalls in Washington

Chasing waterfalls is one of the most popular activities in Washington State. It's not only an excellent way to see some of the most breathtaking scenery in the region, but it's also a great adventure for people of all ages and interests.

The Pacific Northwest's high rainfall and volcanic peaks mean that there are plenty of waterfalls in Washington to explore. This article will help you discover some of the best - no matter what time of year you visit!

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington's most famous and awe-inspiring scenic attractions. Located east of Seattle, the roaring 268-foot waterfall cascades in more or less one unbroken drop into the Snoqualmie River below.

During the summer, the waterfall attracts the biggest crowds. However, it can also be impressive in winter when the river freezes over and the water becomes a thick blanket of ice.

The imposing falls are surrounded by a two-acre park with a gift shop and observation platform. It also boasts an elegant Salish Lodge hotel.

Throughout its history, the falls have been considered sacred by the Snoqualmie people. They've fought to preserve them through protests, prayers and legal battles.

Palouse Falls

Palouse Falls, located in southeast Washington, is one of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls in the state. The 198-foot high falls is surrounded by striking basalt cliffs and sits on the Palouse River upstream of its confluence with the Snake River.

The area was carved out of the landscape by glacial floods that swept across eastern Washington at the end of the last ice age. The resulting scablands are home to coulees, potholes, buttes, and plateaus.

Many visitors enjoy hiking the 0.7 miles out-and-back trail above the waterfall. It is not a strenuous hike, but it is challenging due to the rocky terrain and steep drop-offs.

The area is quite remote and can be very difficult to access. Make sure to stock up on food and water and plan accordingly.

Iron Creek Falls

Washington is home to a wide array of awe-inspiring waterfalls that are sure to leave you in awe. Whether you seek out a National Park, mountainside waterfall or city falls, the state is a haven for those seeking nature’s best.

Located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Iron Creek Falls is a popular hike within easy reach of the road. A short, straightforward hike to a safe viewpoint off of Forest Service Road 25 allows for an easy family outing that’s perfect for children and adults alike.

During the summer, the tumbling falls create a beautiful rock-dotted pool. Depending on the flow, water can spill over a tan travertine ledge or push through in small rapids. The moss-covered rocks and surrounding vegetation make this waterfall an interesting and unusual feature.

Rocky Brook Falls

Located on the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula, Rocky Brook Falls is one of the best waterfalls near Seattle and one of the most accessible. It can be accessed via a short hike through the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, making it perfect for anyone looking to get out and explore the area.

The waterfall drops 230 feet into a small pool, and it typically has good flow year-round. This is likely due to a diversion that diverts water off the creek above the falls to a small hydroelectric facility. However, the waterfall can swell up to an impressive volume after heavy rains.


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