While it's possible there may be smaller falls between the mouth of Park Creek and this waterfall, this is the first major waterfall along Park Creek - and the only one marked on the topo maps. Here, the creek zigzags through a scenic canyon before sheeting out and veiling some 70 feet into a deeper, though less rugged section of the canyon. The most remarkable feature here is the sheer size of the falls; the width of the falls nearly doubles - reaching possibly 100 feet wide at the base of the falls. I investigated this drainage with Oregon waterfall hunter Todd Singleton, and when we first located the falls, we were looking over the brink, where a large rooster tail - shooting out maybe 15 feet from the cliff - was noticeable. From the base, this rooster tail becomes quite insignificant, dwarfed by the immense size of the falls. The one downside to this waterfall, however, is that it's one of the hardest in the area to view. Trees obscure the falls from the north canyon rim, and the orientation of the falls prevents any views from the south rim, so scrambling down the steep, crumbly slopes to the canyon floor is necessary to see the falls completely.
- Howlaak Falls is the Proposed name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: Park Creek Falls
This waterfall had been generically referenced as Park Creek Falls in the appendix of A Waterfall Lovers Guide to the Pacific Northwest. Because the Forest Service has been actively pushing to rename placenames with the word Squaw attatched to them (because it has been considered derogatory in certain uses), the waterfalls on Whychus (formerly Squaw) Creek have been given proposed names from the Sahaptin (Nez Perce) dialect. In keeping with this standard, I would like to propose that this waterfall be called Howlaak Falls. Howlaak is a Sahaptin word meaning "Abyss".
The waterfalls of Whychus Creek are located just inside the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, located south of the town of Sisters. From Highway 242 in downtown Sisters, turn south on Forest Service Road 16, signed for Three Creek Lake (do not follow FR 15, signed for Whychus Creek, west of town). After 7 miles, turn right onto FR 1514, and proceed just under 5 miles to FR 1514-600, immediately before crossing Whychus Creek on a large concrete bridge, and turn left. Road 1514-600 is very rough, but passable for passenger cars with decent clearance. Follow this rough road for another 2 miles to a T-junction and bear left, reaching the trailhead in another Â½ mile. Because the falls are located in a dangerous area, I'm not posting specific directions. You'll need good navigational skills, a map and a compass or GPS to find the falls. The easiest access is from the north side of the creek, between Park Creek and the South Fork Whychus Creek - this will require at least one ford of Whychus Creek. Best-case scenario, the falls should be about 1-Â½ miles of hiking from the trailhead.