Upper Tumwater Falls was one of the first waterfalls in the Puget Sound region to be harnessed for industrial purposes. few, if any, photographs exist showing the waterfall in its natural state prior to construction of the dam and fish ladder system. As it has lasted to this point, the falls drop over a 20 foot concrete dam that only serves to direct water into the fish ladder, followed by a short series of cascades - the only natural portion of the falls remaining - followed by a second dam where the fish ladder ends. Despite the unnatural appearance, its still a neat attraction, plus there are other waterfalls to be seen in the area, so theres no need to blow it off.
- Upper Tumwater Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
The name of this waterfall is long standing and historically accurate as a descriptive comparison to its larger, still natural downstream sibling (over time many publications have simply identified the name as an unofficial tag for identifying the feature, albeit with the correct name, so I guess it doesn't matter).
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). The falls are found immediately adjacent to the parking lot.