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TOP 10 WATERFALLS IN THE MT. BAKER AREA

This is our list of the top 10 waterfalls around Mt. Baker.  This list is bound to change as we visit new and exciting falls, but here is the current top 10:

1.  Mazama Falls - The best waterfall, thus far, in the Mt. Baker area is Mazama Falls.  This waterfall occurs where Wells Creek drops a total of about 500' in seven tiers.  The largest of these tiers is around 125' tall by itself.  Add the great height of this waterfall to the large volume of Wells Creek and you have a world-class waterfall.  While it can be seen from the road at a distance of about 3 miles, it can only be truly appreciated from up close.  Unfortunately, this can only be done via a very long, very difficult bushwhack from Wells Creek Falls or an even longer, but easier bushwhack from Chain Lakes.

    

2.  Lava Divide Falls - Lava Divide Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Mt. Baker area, dropping nearly 1000' in a series of drops.  Though unnamed, the creek where this waterfall occurs is very large, tumbling down the side of Park Creek Valley.  The bottom section alone would make this Top 10 list, but when you add an additional 500' of waterfall above that, this is one of the best.  The bushwhack to the base is difficult, but less than a mile each way.  In addition, the route takes you through some amazing old growth forest with some truly huge trees.

    
3.  Warm Creek Falls - This is the tallest, single-drop waterfall thus far in the Baker area.  The waterfall occurs where two branches of Warm Creek drop about 500' over a massive cliff face in side-by-side waterfalls, joining at the bottom.  An extremely difficult 2 mile bushwhack is required to view the waterfall, but it is certainly worth the effort, even on a cold, windy autumn day such as I experienced on my trip into the falls.

4.  Clearwater Falls - Clearwater Creek drops over 400' down the side of the cliffs around Grouse Point.  This massive waterfall consists of six separate tiers.  Unfortunately, it is very difficult to reach the waterfall and once you get there, the entire waterfall cannot be seen from any one spot.  Even with these detractions, Clearwater Falls is among the greatest in the area.     
5.  Popahomy Falls - This appears to be the best of the over 20 waterfalls located in the Swift Creek drainage.  I say appears because there are still two very large waterfalls (Coleman Falls and Swift Creek Falls), that I have yet to get a close view of.  Popahomy Creek plunges around 300' in three steps located in a deep rugged canyon with Shuksan Arm towering above the scene.  The falls is not far from the Swift Creek Trail, but getting a view is difficult and highly dangerous.  From the same viewpoint, one can also see Huntoon Falls to the north, a nice little bonus.
6.  Nooksack Falls - This is the most famous waterfall in the area.  The waterfall occurs where the North Fork of the Nooksack River encounters a semi-circular cliff face and plunges 88' in three separate segments.  The huge volume of the river and easy access make this a must-see while visiting the area.
7.  Gold Run Falls - This gorgeous waterfall is located along the Twin Lakes Road.  The bottom section of the falls can actually be seen from the car.  As one climbs further up the hillside along the creek, the drops get bigger and better, culminating in the 165' tall upper tier.  Add it all up and you have over 300' of cascading whitewater that combines to make Gold Run Falls one of the best around.     
8.  Bald Mountain Falls - This waterfall, or more appropriately these waterfalls, occur where two forks of this creek drop over side-by-side waterfalls no more than 100' away from each other.  The left side of the waterfall is the higher volume of the two, dropping around 250' in four separate tiers.  The right side drops a total of about 175' in three tiers.  After combining at the bottom, the creek has one last hurrah, dropping over a 35' tall lower falls.      
9.  Deadhorse Falls - Deadhorse Creek storms into a rugged, steeply-walled canyon via this 400' tall waterfall.  The uppermost tier plunges nearly 300' by itself in a deeply incised crack in the rock wall.  Below there, the creek continues to tumble down a series of smaller tiers before finally exiting the canyon.  The trip into the falls is fairly difficult, but it is short and can be quite enjoyable when the creek is running lower.  At higher volume, the creek fords become a little scary.          

10.  Wells Creek Falls - The smallest waterfall on our Top 10 is also one of my personal favorites.  Large volume Wells Creek plunges 90' into a pristine amphitheater and into a pretty plunge pool.  The creek then runs out of the narrow canyon towards Wells Creek Road.  The falls can be seen from the car, but the best view is had by wandering up the mini-canyon, fording the creek, and climbing up a rocky outcrop to a perfect view.

 

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