Having driven across it many many times, I've wondered for the longest time whether Damnation Creek harbors any significant waterfalls. Well I finally decided to find out and the short answer is yes. Damnation Creek in all likelihood contains lots of waterfalls (as do pretty much any stream within the Skagit River canyon). Purgatory Falls is probably the only one humanly accessible though, because the creek has carved such a substantial canyon that further upstream access would require rappelling gear. Purgatory Falls is a series of five or maybe more drops at the bottom of the steepest part of the gorge, dropping a total of just over 230 feet (though I will note I wasn't able to train my rangefinder terribly accurately on the very top of the falls so it actually may be taller), with the final two drops, totaling 71 feet, being the most visible. Its possible the upper tiers of the falls would appear more substantial at high water, but whether the falls can even be accessed at peak flow is in question.
- Purgatory Falls is the Proposed name of this waterfall.
Purgatory Falls is found about a half mile upstream from where Damnation Creek crosses under Highway 20 within the Ross Lake National Recreation Area. About 1/3 of a mile to the west of the Damnation Creek bridge is an unmarked gravel road heading north (uphill). Park at the large turnaround near the end of the road and scramble up to the creek and simply boulder hop upstream for about a quarter of a mile. When you get to a point where you have to ford the creek, the easiest option is to climb the mossy forest slope to the left and stay high above the creek until you see the falls. If you stay in the creek, you'll get very wet and though I suspect it should be possible to reach the bottom of the falls via the creek route, only the final 70 feet of the falls will be visible. The trek isn't overly difficult but is steep and traversing lots of loose, moss-covered boulders is necessary.