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 drop of 53 feet where the creek squeezes through a narrow notch in the cliff. Immediately after it spreads out and veils 106 feet into a trough protected by a large protruding rock wall. The third drop follows quickly as the creek bends around the rock wall and plunges another 102 feet, impacting on a slanted rock face a little over halfway down. The fourth drop follows immediately as a sliding, "L" shaped cascade of 36 feet. After pausing in a small pool, the creek then hurtles over the largest drop of the bunch, a veiling 125 foot plunge, which is then followed immediately by a 40 foot horsetail and 35 feet of cascades to finish the formation.
When surveyed in October of 2012 we were able to successfully measure the top four tiers, however the alleged route to the base of the falls proved to be a little too sketchy and we were only able to obtain a general measurement of the final three drops based on a view looking downstream from the top of the fifth tier. A future survey will be needed to achieve accurate measurements of the final three drops of the series.
Though the terrain immediately surrounding Mazama Falls is heavily forested and can be navigated by those with skill in off-trail travel, the slopes are extremely steep, may be covered in very slick pine needle duff, and are precarious enough that we simply cannot encourage visiting this waterfall. Given that the two possible routes used to visit the falls involve pretty extensive off-trail travel, this is not likely to be much of a problem, but if you do choose to visit, please exercise extreme caution.
- Mazama Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Mazama Falls was named by four members of The Mazamas, a mountaineering organization based out of Portland Oregon, after the falls were discovered while a trail was being blazed towards Mount Baker. The trail formerly ran parallel to Wells Creek on the east side of the stream, presumably passing some sort of view of the falls, but it seems unlikely given the rugged terrain immediately around the falls, that it actually provided up close views. Some accounts cite Wells Creek Falls as being an alternate name for this entry, however early maps of the Mount Baker region clearly show Wells Creek Falls to be the name attached to the lower of the two major waterfalls in the upper stretch of Wells Creek.
Mazama Falls is located about 1 3/4 miles upstream of Wells Creek Road #33 within the Mount Baker Wilderness Area. The falls can be easily seen from Wells Creek Road about 7 1/2 miles from SR 542. The road becomes steep and rough after crossing Bar Creek at 6 miles.