From the Mather Memorial Parkway, Snoquera Creek is a seemingly ephemeral, seldom noticed, and often dry stream, cascading through the forest. For those unaware that there are multiple large waterfalls in the area, thinking twice might not even be a thought. But, for those who notice the sharp topography of Dalles Ridge on the east side of the White River, you'll find several noteworthy waterfalls. Snoquera Falls being the best of them. Though it lies on a seasonal stream, which often dries out by July, Snoquera Falls is a deceptively impressive waterfall. At this point, the cliffs of Dalles Ridge rise several hundred feet above the surrounding land, and Snoquera Creek plummets 400 feet, dancing around in the wind whenever possible, before cascading down towards the White River, and eventually flowing into a small pond, where most of the stream stops. One of the things I noticed on my most recent visit was that there is a significantly larger amount of water falling over the falls than there is flowing in the creek near the trailhead. This is partly due to a diversion for water supply for nearby Camp Sheppard (BSA), but also due to the thick talus in the area, allowing at least 2/3 of the volume of the stream to sink underground. Fortunately, since the falls can also be seen from the highway, you won't need to hike all the way up to find out if the falls are actually running or not. Before I hiked to the bottom of the falls, I assumed that since there would be significant foreshortening, the view from the Highway would be better, but I can't stress enough how impressive this waterfall is (comparatively) from up close. As the volume of the stream drops, so should the rating. When the falls are dry, typically from mid July onward, don't even bother stopping. I had the fortune of visiting this waterfall during a record hot streak in May 2008 when the vast majority of the snow in the drainage was melted in a matter of 3-4 days, and the falls were transformed into a Yosemite-caliber attraction. The force of the falls during that short stretch was absolutely immense and the base couldn't even be approached closely because there was so much spray being thrown off the falls.
- Snoquera Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Drive south of Greenwater along Highway 410 for about 11 miles, or 1.5 miles past the viewpoint for Skookum Falls, to the signed Camp Sheppard / Snoquera Falls trailhead and park. The trail leaves the parking area on the right. Follow the log-lined nature trail back to the amphitheater, then, just before crossing Snoquera Creek, take the center trail at a three way junction, heading across the creek (in culverts, not the bridge), and uphill. In 1/5 of a mile, you'll reach a 4-way junction, stay straight, following Snoquera Falls Trail # 1167. At 3/4 of a mile from the parking lot, the trail junctions again. Here, go left, again following the signs for Snoquera Falls. Three long switchbacks later, you'll arrive at the base of the falls, 1 1/2 miles from the parking lot. Cross the creek to find a steep path leading up to the bottom of the falls. As of May 2008 a large landslide had decimated a 300 yard stretch of trail leading up to the falls, but it has apparently already begun to be repaired. Alternatively, you can get good views of the falls from the right (if you're driving south) shoulder of Highway 410, directly across from the parking lot's access road. You'll need a good telephoto lens for a good picture though.