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BEST OF THE NORTHWEST

The 100 best waterfalls the Pacific Northwest has to offer

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1 . Shoshone Falls    

100.26

Shoshone Falls, known as "The Niagara of the West", is one of the true great waterfalls of the North American continent. The falls of the Snake River plunge 212 feet over a horseshoe shaped formation over 900 feet in width. Depending on the volume ... (Full description)

 

2 . Depot Creek Falls    

100

The main waterfall of Depot Creek is one of the true juggernaut waterfalls in North America and by some standards might be one of the 100 best waterfalls on the planet. Depot Creek heads in three large glaciers on the north face of Mount Redoubt - i... (Full description)

 

3 . Snoqualmie Falls    

98.59

Snoqualmie Falls is by far the most famous waterfall in Washington, receiving over 1.5 million visitors every year. The Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric project operates beneath the falls, first opened by Puget Power in the early 1900's. During regula... (Full description)

 

4 . Green Lake Falls    

94.73

Green Lake Falls is the largest waterfall in the Bacon Creek basin and one of the largest waterfalls in the state of Washington. The falls occur as Green Lake’s outlet stream rolls over the side of the glacially carved upper valley of Bacon Creek ... (Full description)

 

5 . Berdeen Falls    

92.56

The two large lakes in the upper Bacon Creek drainage – Green Lake and Berdeen Lake – are situated at high elevations such that their outlets must drop over waterfalls of significant size in order to reach the floor of the valley. While the fall... (Full description)

 

6 . Jordan Creek Falls    

92.02

Jordan Creek Falls is, simply put, absolutely immense. Short of a flooding Snoqualmie Falls, I'm honestly not sure there is another waterfall in the Pacific Northwest that is both accessible in one day and anywhere near as powerful as Jordan Creek F... (Full description)

 

7 . Rush Creek Falls    

89.72

The sheer force of this gargantuan display warrants more attention than all the other waterfalls in the area combined. Spray from the falls is exploded hundreds of feet into the air, causing mosses to grow along the canyon walls all 360 degrees aroun... (Full description)

 

8 . Multnomah Falls    

89.37

Widely advertised as the 4th tallest waterfall in the United States (which it is not, more later), and named in virtually every World Book and Almanac under the "tallest waterfalls of the world" section, Multnomah Falls is the undisputed best waterfa... (Full description)

 

9 . Comet Falls    

88.4

If there was one waterfall that every visitor to Mount Rainier National Park should see, Comet Falls is it. Van Trump Creek hurtles from the lip of a lofty hanging valley, plunging in three steps flanked by lofty amphitheater cliffs of Andesite. Th... (Full description)

 

10 . Angeline Falls    

88.31

High up in the basin of the West Fork of the Foss River in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the outlets of three major lakes all spill into secluded Delta Lake, when then produces the aforementioned river from its outlet. Each of these three streams fe... (Full description)

 

11 . Upper Stevens Creek Falls    

87.35

At the head of Stevens Canyon, there are two large waterfalls; Upper Stevens Creek Falls, and Fairy Falls. Fairy Falls is the taller and much more famous of the two, though is difficult to reach. Upper Stevens Creek Falls is by far the superior water... (Full description)

 

12 . Sulphide Creek Falls    

86.55

Sulphide Creek creates one of the tallest waterfalls in North America as it plunges and cascades out of practically unreachable Sulphide Lake, situated on the southeast corner of Mount Shuksan within North Cascades National Park. The creek empties f... (Full description)

 

13 . Bridal Veil Falls    

85.14

Bridal Veil Creek runs out of Cliff-ringed Lake Serene and launches down the valley wall in several large falls before joining the Skykomish River. Though never officially measured, the falls drop well over 1000 feet from it's source in Lake Serene. ... (Full description)

 

14 . Salt Creek Falls    

84.35

Salt Creek creates one of the most impressive waterfalls in Oregon as it hurtles 286 feet into a gaping canyon near Willamette Pass. The size of the falls isn't terribly notable in the area, but rather the process by which the falls were formed. Glac... (Full description)

 

15 . Linton Falls    

83.18

Linton Falls is one of the few large waterfalls in Oregon that has remained widely undocumented, the reasons for which are a little puzzling. Linton Lake, which the falls drain into, is a popular destination along the McKenzie Pass corridor, and part... (Full description)

 

16 . Ice Falls    

83.12

... (Full description)

 

17 . Drury Falls    

82.47

Drury Falls is a greatly under appreciated waterfall. Fall Creek is a faily small stream which usually runs dry by late August, but during peak snowmelt it produces a substantial volume of water. This is noteworthy because Drury Falls is located wher... (Full description)

 

18 . Mazama Falls    

82.35

Mazama Falls is the largest waterfall in the Wells Creek drainage, thundering 497 feet in seven successive steps between bowl-like depressions carved into the valley's huge headwall below Laisocarpe Ridge. The falls begin with a twisting plunging dr... (Full description)

 

19 . Walupt Creek Falls    

82.33

Walupt Creek Falls had been on my hit list for years, well over a decade in fact. The first hint of its existence I came across was in Greg Plumb's 1983 "Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest", which surmised at the location of the falls but didn't ha... (Full description)

 

20 . Lower Lewis River Falls    

80.62

This beautiful and quite powerful waterfall actually looks better during lower water periods. When the water is high, a solid wall of water crashes into the large pool in spectacular fashion, but during low water periods, the falls look more graceful... (Full description)

 

21 . Falls Creek Falls    

78.97

Though possessing a name which may suggest a less interesting (albeit fitting) subject, Falls Creek Falls is among the largest and most powerful waterfalls in southern Washington. Fed by an extensive network of springs and streams originating on the... (Full description)

 

22 . Sahalie Falls    

78.89

Sahalie Falls is the first and tallest of three major waterfalls along the McKenzie River. This sheer plunge of 73 feet is broken into two segments when the river is running at its highest volume but is more commonly a single powerful plunge. Sahalie... (Full description)

 

23 . Colonial Creek Falls    

77.62

Colonial Creek is, at first glance, a fairly discrete creek emptying into the placid waters of Diablo Lake's Thunder Arm. But looking up its valley from the right places one can glimpse portions of what is thus far the tallest waterfall recorded in ... (Full description)

 

24 . Upper Lewis River Falls    

76.26

While technically not the real upper waterfall of the Lewis River, Upper Lewis River Falls is the tallest of the four major falls on this section of the river. Here the Lewis encounters a strangely squared sheet of basalt, sheets out over the flat r... (Full description)

 

25 . Koosah Falls    

76.19

Koosah Falls is the second of the three major waterfalls of the McKenzie River. Spreading out over a wide undercut basalt ledge, the river thunders 64 feet into a huge pool with several small springs feeding into the river adjacent. The volume of the... (Full description)

 

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THE GREAT DEBATE

The obvious question in regard to this topic is "How do you fairly quantify which are the best?"  Thats not an easy question to answer, because many people see different features of a waterfall with different perspectives.  While this list isn't infallable, I have been trying to fairly quantify the waterfalls of the Northwest since this website first went live in 1999.

With this revision of the website, I believe I have finally developed a system of rating waterfalls which weighs physical appearance, power, aesthetics and alteration in a way that any two waterfalls can be fairly compared against one another.  This list represents the 100 Best waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest based on this system (for more details on how the rating system works, see Rating System).

The initial results of this system surprised me a bit, particularly how some of the waterfalls of Oregon scored against those in Washington.  Because I have built in sort of a 'subjective override' to this system to allow me to manually adjust the ratings as I see it necessary, the order of the waterfalls shown may periodically change.

Click on any of the "Read More" links to be taken to the page detailing each entry.

 

 
 
 

 

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