As one drives up to the Heliotrope Ridge trailhead on Mount Baker, spectacular views of Mount Baker are revealed, with the Coleman and Roosevelt Glaciers fanning down it's northern face. Looking carefully at the foot of the glaciers, two large waterfalls can be seen descending from the Roosevelt Glacier. While technically along different streams, because both falls originate from melt from the Roosevelt Glacier we are considering them to be two segments of the same waterfall along the same stream (or specifically different branches of the same stream). The left of the two segments plunges and cascades about 400 feet over a cliff band which was formerly hidden beneath the glacial ice, while the right segment is fed from a small tongue of ice extending below the toe of the main portion of the glacier, and drops about 100 feet in two segments of its own. Unfortunately, getting close to these waterfalls is prohibitively difficult, so long distance views will have to suffice.
Those who have frequented the Heliotrope Ridge area of Mount Baker over the years may notice that the Roosevelt Glacier has very noticeable retreated from the top of the falls. In 2003 when we first surveyed this waterfall the falls emerged directly from beneath the toe of the glacier. In 2011 when we visited again, the glacier had retreated several hundred feet, revealing the stream above the falls. As the glacier continues to fluctuate (more likely retreating than not) there is a possibility that more waterfalls may be revealed.
- Roosevelt Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.
Located at the toe of the Roosevelt Glacier on the north side of Mount Baker. Heading east from Maple Falls, along Highway 542, just 7/10 of a mile to Glacier Creek Road, and turn right. Follow Glacier Creek Road for slightly less than 8 miles to a major road junction where good views of Mount Baker and the falls are afforded. Continuing straight at the junction for another 1.3 miles will bring you to the Mount Baker Vista picnic area where more expansive views can be found. Part of the larger drop of the falls can also be seen from the end of the Heliotrope Ridge Trail, though not as effectively.