What is this place? - Several years ago, my family and I began to visit waterfalls in our local area.  This past time quickly expanded to a full time obsession so I started this website to share with friends and extended family some of the waterfalls we had been to.  I had no idea at the time that the site would become as popular as it is today or I would've chosen a more fitting name and address (maybe something like  But the damage has been done so we're stuck with this name and address.  The point of the site is simply to showcase my adventures in waterfall hunting and highlight the great, and often completely unknown, waterfalls we have here in NW Washington.  For the purposes of this site, Northwest Washington is defined as King, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties.  There are literally thousands of waterfalls in this region, and I have no false hope of ever visiting them all, however, I'm going to give it my darnedest.  In order to earn a place on the website, a waterfall generally needs to be over 15' tall (occasionally shorter waterfalls on large waterways), drop over the bedrock, and be located on a creek that runs year-round.  Some exceptions may be made for waterfalls that run heavily for several months during the spring and early summer but run dry later in the year.

The list below explains some of the information found on each waterfall's page:

1.  Waterfall Names - Very few waterfalls in NW Washington have official names (Nooksack Falls, Rainbow Falls, etc).  Among those that don't, some have names that are generally used, even though no official name has ever been given to them (Explorer Falls, Halfmile Falls, etc.).  Occasionally, I will find a waterfall that was previously unnamed in any way that I can detect.  In that case, I just make up a name.  I often will just use the name of the creek to name the waterfall (xxxxx Creek Falls) or the name of a nearby natural feature (i.e. Segelsen Ridge Falls).  In the case of commonly used creek names, like Bear or Falls Creeks, I will try to come up with a name that is a little more unique.  In these cases I often try to use words from the local Native American languages (Salish, Lushootseed, Nooksack, Chinook).  Many of these languages are extremely difficult to transfer into English but I have done the best I can (see Halhomish Falls for example).  In general, the names are just used in an effort to identify various waterfalls for discussion.  It's much easier to say, "Klahanie Falls" than it is to say, "The big straight drop down on Bear Creek.  No, not that one, the one that's about 1/2 a mile downstream from the dam."

 2.  Rating - The new rating system is one I've devised myself and is based on the three major components that make a waterfalls great (or not great):  height, size of waterway, and scenic quality.  The "Volume Rating" is the size of the creek,  based on the average volume of the waterway.  The "small/medium" section is generally for creeks that have a large range in volume and can vary significantly at various times of the year.  The "Height Rating" is based entirely on a waterfall's overall height.  Some waterfalls may be given a score somewhere between these.  For example, a waterfall that is 125' tall falls between two ranges so the score will probably be adjusted to 23.  These two numbers are multiplied together to give the overall magnitude of the waterfall.  The third portion of the score is the "Scenic Rating" and it is certainly subjective to some degree, judging a waterfall's beauty, how well you can view a waterfall, special qualities, etc.  The tables below breaks down how each number is arrived at.  The formula then is (VR)(HR)+SQ = SCORE

Volume Rating   Height Rating   Scenic Quality
Large River 10   1000+ feet tall 11   The scenic quality is by far the most subjective portion of a waterfall's rating, but I've done my best to remove opinion from the equation.  Each waterfall is given a rating from 0-20 based on a number of factors.  This is mostly based on how well you can see the waterfall, how close you can get to it, how pretty the area around the waterfall is, etc.  An "average" waterfall is given a 10.  A perfect 20 would be a waterfall that can be closely approached, the view is free from obstruction, the waterfall and the area around it is exceptionally pretty with little to no debris around, and the entire waterfall can be seen from the viewing area.  An example of a perfect 20 would be Wells Creek Falls.  A waterfall that is viewed from a long distance away will almost always get a Scenic Quality rating of 4 or less.  In addition to the above, this section of a waterfall's score can receive a couple "bonus points" for especially interesting features.  Examples include:

     - Walking behind Anderson Falls
     - Falls Creek Falls unique drop through the middle of the cliff
     - The mine near St. Louis Falls
Small River/Large Creek 8   700-1000 10  
Medium Creek 6   500-700 9  
Small/Medium Creek 4   350-500 8  
Small Creek 2   200-350 7  
125-200 6
Tiny Stream 1   80-125 5  
    50-80 4  
Seasonal Stream receive a 10% deduction in their Volume Rating   25-50 2  
  0-25 1  

 3.  Type of Approach - This describes the trip necessary to visit the waterfall.  These different types of approaches can all (except Roadside) vary in length and difficulty.

ROADSIDE  You don't have to get out of the car to view these waterfalls, but you might want to. 
TRAIL This waterfall will require a hike of some sort.  Generally these will be official trails built by some government entity, but I also include unofficial trails if they are well maintained and easy to follow.
ROADWALK You will have to walk along a gated road to view the falls.  Often these roads are perfectly drivable but are closed to motor vehicles.
BUSHWHACK There is no trail to the falls and it can only be viewed by traveling off trail, usually through the brush and trees 

 4.  Difficulty -  This rating describes how difficult it will be to view a waterfall.

VERY EASY  Usually means you don't have to leave the car, or an extremely short, very easy (usually paved) walk is required to view the waterfall.
EASY A short, flat hike (often paved trails) may be required to view the waterfall, but nothing too difficult.  This rating should be suitable for any age or physical ability of visitor.
FAIRLY EASY  Slightly more difficult than the above, but still nothing too crazy.  A hike of up to a mile may be necessary but it will likely involve little to no elevation gain.  These waterfalls are generally achievable by anyone above the age of about 4 years old.
MEDIUM Generally a hike of somewhere between 1 and 2 miles with some elevation gain.  Usually suitable for anyone over 10 years of age.  This rating could also be used for a short bushwhack with little or no elevation gain.
FAIRLY DIFFICULT This rating will require a longer hike, usually over 3 miles with substantial elevation gain.  The hike will probably take the better part of a day to accomplish.  This rating can also describe a short, but difficult bushwhack, usually less than 1/2 a mile in length but involving large elevation gains. 
DIFFICULT These waterfalls involve long hikes of 5 or more miles, long difficult bushwhacks, large elevation gains, or (most likely) a combination of the three.  Prepare to be out all day and to be exhausted when you return to the vehicle.  This rating could also be used for a short bushwhack with dangerous conditions climbing around steep cliffs at the waterfall. 
VERY DIFFICULT Similar to "Difficult" but even worse.  Long, difficult bushwhacks are the norm with this rating and the trips should not be attempted alone or by anyone without a GPS device and experience with long bushwhacks.  These waterfalls are generally left to the experts.
EXTREMELY DIFFICULT These waterfalls should generally not be visited by anyone who is not very comfortable with long, off-trail trips.  The adventures involve large elevation gains, very brushy terrain, and potentially life threatening conditions.  It is recommended that you not attempt to visit these waterfalls, especially without taken someone else along with you.

5.  Type of Waterfall - There are a number of different kinds of waterfalls.  With a few exceptions and slight variations, most waterfall fans accept the types of waterfalls listed in the "Waterfall Lover's Guide" by Greg Plumb.  Here are my definitions of the various kinds of waterfalls you will find on this site:

PLUNGE  A waterfall that drops vertically, losing complete contact with the bedrock.  i.e. Wells Creek Falls
HORSETAIL A waterfall that falls steeply along sloped bedrock, but maintains nearly constant contact with the bedrock.  i.e. Milt Creek Falls
FAN A waterfall that drops over the bedrock, spreading out as it drops so that the bottom is wider than the top.  i.e. Apron Falls
SLIDE Similar to a horsetail waterfall, but falling at a shallower angle, usually less than 30 degrees.  i.e.  The top tier of Lost Lake Falls
PUNCHBOWL A waterfall that occurs where the water is squeezed into a narrow crack of bedrock before launching itself out into a deep pool of water.  A punchbowl waterfall is usually, but not always, fairly small in stature.  i.e. Whirlpool Falls
BLOCK A waterfall that occurs where the creek or river spreads out over a wide stretch of bedrock, wider than it is tall.  i.e. Laplash Falls
CURTAIN  Similar to a block waterfall in that the falls spreads out across a wide berth, but the waterfall is still taller than it is wide.  i.e.  Anderson Falls
TIERED A waterfall containing multiple distinct drops.  Most of the waterfalls in Northwest Washington have multiple tiers.  i.e. Engle Falls
SEGMENTED A waterfall occurring where the creek or river drops in two or more separate segments.  This term is also used to describe a spot where several smaller creeks join together at the base.  i.e. Gemini Falls
CASCADES A long, seemingly never-ending series of small drops along a creek.  i.e. Weeks Falls

6.  Height and Width - These numbers are generally just rough, eye-ball estimates of the heights.  I've gotten pretty good over the years at estimating a height, but there is a certain margin of error, the larger the height, the larger the margin of error.  In the case of most popular, officially named waterfalls, the height will be more accurate, as well as some other falls that have been measured by myself or others.  Usually if the height is a round number (60', 25', 120', etc), it is an estimate, whereas if the number is very exact (24', 88') it is an actual measurement of some sort.