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Tumwater Falls
   Thurston County, Washington

[ Physical Makeup ]  [ Pictures ]  [ Maps ]  [ Update History ]

This is the final of a series of modest waterfalls along the Deschutes River, within the Olympia City Limits. The falls, now encompassed by a nice park developed by the now defunct Olympia Brewing Company, were made famous by their likeness on the labels of the beer produced in the adjacent brewery, which was unfortunately recently bought out by Miller and then shut down. The falls consist of two main segments. The right most segment is difficult to see, and drops a sheer 25 feet or so. The main segment, on the left, consists of a steep chute, which terminates as the river falls off to one side of its original path. The unconventional view shown above was taken from the top of the right-hand segment of the falls. When viewed from the concrete platform below, only the left segment is visible.

HISTORY AND NAMING INFORMATION

  • Tumwater Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.

Tumwater Falls are thought to be one of the earliest known waterfalls in the Puget Sound area. Originally called Chutes River Falls, it was later renamed, in the early 1900s, to its present name, which was derived from the word "Tumtum", the Chinook word for rushing water, which itself stems from the perceived throbbing sound of pounding water.

LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS

easy access

Located in Olympia, just off Interstate 5, near the old Brewery. Depart I-5 at Exit 103, and turn left, crossing the freeway. Turn right immediately after crossing the freeway and river, heading downhill, and crossing the canyon. After crossing the second bridge, turn left and drive to the park entrance (second left). A paved trail begins past the bathrooms and passes half-artificial Upper Tumwater Falls, and proceeds down either side of the river, forming a short loop. Tumwater Falls is found at the far end of the loop, about 1/4 mile from the parking lot.

Latitude

47.01808 N

Longitude

-122.9039 W

Elevation

33 feet

USGS Quadrangle

Tumwater 7 1/2"

Online USGS Topographic maps on Terraserver

Aerial Photographs: Terraserver | Flash Earth

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Open this location in Google Earth

OTHER NEARBY WATERFALLS

Name

Distance

Middle Tumwater Falls

0.168 miles

Upper Tumwater Falls

0.367 miles

 

 

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Magnitude

56.76

IWC

3.09  (Class 4)

RATING

61.07 %

 

Photo of Tumwater Falls

[ View Pictures ]

 

PHYSICAL MAKEUP

Height

26 feet

Tallest Drop

26 feet

Num. Drops

1

AVG. Width

45 feet

Pitch

90 degrees

Run

30 feet

Primary Form

Segmented Plunges

 

Watershed

Deschutes River (WA)

Stream

Deschutes River

AVG. Volume

400.0 cfs

Source

Unknown

Seasonality

Best Flows

Year Round

 
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Search for Tumwater Falls on Google

Information on this waterfall at the World Waterfall Database

Search for more pictures at:
Flickr | PBase | Webshots | Smugmug

       
 

UPDATE HISTORY

May 21, 2011

Edited basic information about this waterfall

 
 
 
 
 

 

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