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Sulphide Creek Falls
   Whatcom County, Washington

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

Sulphide Creek creates one of the tallest waterfalls in North America as it plunges and cascades out of practically unreachable Sulphide Lake, situated on the southeast corner of Mount Shuksan within North Cascades National Park. The creek empties from the lake into an exceptionally narrow gorge, fluming down several hundred feet before reaching a more abrupt cliff and beginning a more vertical descent, plunging over several individual but closely spaced tiers of several hundred feet each, ending almost 2200 vertical feet below the lake's outlet. This not only makes it a continentally significant waterfall for its height, but because the volume of meltwater from the Sulphide and Crystal Glaciers - the two largest on Mount Shuksan - flowing over the falls can swell to as much as an estimated 500 cubic feet per second during the hottest days of the summer, the falls are further significant for its height coupled with great volume.

Because the geology of the bedrock surrounding the falls has allowed the creek to incise heavily into the mountainside, the falls are heavily obscured from view from most angles and can only be seen from a nearly straight-on angle. Extremely thick avalanche brush and snow-stunted forest growth surround the basin at the bottom of the falls and make accessing the bottom of the falls exceptionally difficult and for all intents, impractical.

HISTORY AND NAMING INFORMATION

  • Sulphide Creek Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.

LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS

discouraged access

Though the falls are located not far from trails and roads, because of the rough terrain and thick forest, accessing the falls is simply impractical for most. The Baker River trail ends 2 miles away from the falls near the confluence of Sulphide Creek and the Baker River, but traveling upstream to the falls is all but futile thanks to the thick brush in the basin. A rough route exists branching off from the Shuksan Lake trail which leads to ridge-top views opposite of the falls, but thanks to floods in 2006 the roads leading to the trailhead were decomissioned, extending a strenuous 3 mile hike to over 9 miles (one way). Bottom line is we do not recommend attempting to view this waterfall unless you have extensive experience in multi-day, cross country travel in similar terrain.

Latitude

48.79647 N

Longitude

-121.57563 W

Elevation

2393 feet

USGS Quadrangle

Mount Shuksan 7 1/2"

Online USGS Topographic maps on Terraserver

Aerial Photographs: Terraserver | Flash Earth

Download KML

Open this location in Google Earth

OTHER NEARBY WATERFALLS

Name

Distance

Sulphide Valley Falls

0.541 miles

Jagged Ridge Falls

1.09 miles

Rockflow Canyon Falls

1.738 miles

Sulphide Basin Falls

1.767 miles

Cloudcap Falls

2.193 miles

Upper Lake Creek Falls

2.487 miles

Seahpo Peak Falls

2.628 miles

Unnamed Waterfall

3.415 miles

Lake Creek Falls

3.434 miles

Unnamed Waterfall

3.931 miles

 

 

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Magnitude

77.35

IWC

4.94  (Class 5)

RATING

86.55 %

 

Photo of Sulphide Creek Falls

[ View Pictures ]

 

PHYSICAL MAKEUP

Height

2182 feet

Tallest Drop

400 feet

Num. Drops

8

AVG. Width

50 feet

Pitch

70 degrees

Run

3000 feet

Primary Form

Steep Tiered Cascades

 

Watershed

Baker River

Stream

Sulphide Creek

AVG. Volume

250.0 cfs

Source

Glacier

Seasonality

12 months

Best Flows

June to October

 
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Search for Sulphide Creek Falls on Google

Information on this waterfall at the World Waterfall Database

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

       
 

UPDATE HISTORY

Oct 30, 2012

Edited basic information about this waterfall

 
 
 
 
 

 

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