Sholes Creek Falls is sort of the big brother to nearby Wells Creek Falls. Sholes Creek plunges over a two-stepped waterfall in drops of 62 and 103 feet into a very deep amphitheater at the head of a gorge just above the confluence with Bar Creek. The falls are much more impressive than Wells Creek Falls, but is markedly harder to access and as a result, I suggest it be left alone unless you are very comfortable with scrambling in steep canyons. Sholes Creek is very precipitous above this waterfall and I suspect there to be at least two more falls between this entry and Upper Sholes Creek Falls at the treeline. Accessing them may be very dangerous due to the size of the gorge. I should also note that Bob Mooers' book "Waterfall Finders Guide: Western Washington #1" claims there to be a 60-100 foot tall lower falls a short distance downstream. I saw no evidence of such a fall, so don't bother looking for one.
- Sholes Creek Falls is the name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: Adenas Falls
It looked to me like there was remnants of a trail of some sort climbing up along the rim of the Sholes Creek canyon, which wouldn't surprise me given the extensive history of exploratory mountain climbing on Mount Baker, so it would follow that this waterfall may have, at one point, held a proper name. Bob Mooers's book "Waterfall Finders Guide: Western Washington #1" calls this one Adena's Falls - Bob named it for his wife.
Located near Mount Baker, off Highway 542. Heading east from Maple Falls, along Highway 542, proceed 7 miles east of the Glacier Ranger Station, to Wells Creek Road # 33, also signed for Nooksack Falls. Follow Wells Creek Road for just under 6 miles to the bridge (not the culvert-crossing of Wells Creek) over Bar Creek and park. Sholes Creek enters Bar Creek about 200 feet upstream and the falls are approximately 1/4 mile away from the bridge. The route to the falls is to dive into the brush along the cut-bank of the road, keeping an eye out for orange flagging marking the route. Flagging can be followed for most of the route to the rim of the Sholes Creek Canyon. The proper spot to descend to the base of the falls is right at the base of the cliff band that forms the falls. Any lower and you'll end up having to do a dangerous sidehill traverse across 60+ degree slopes that slide 100 feet into the canyon. Up until you hit the rim of the canyon, this is easy, but dropping down to the falls is very steep and dangerous, so don't attempt this if you're not willing to risk a potential broken bone.