Gilbert Falls is both one of the easiest waterfalls in the North Fork Cascade River drainage to see, as well as one of the most difficult. Gilbert Creek drains from the very western edge of Boston Basin, fed by melt from part of the Taboo Glacier. Over the course of a mile and a half the creek drops 4,000 feet and much of that may or may not be in the form of waterfalls. What is known is that the final drop before passing under the Cascade River Road consists of a 6-stepped fall dropping 421 feet, which includes a sheer plunge of at least 150 feet in height.
Depending on the year, Gilbert Falls may be easily visible (partially at least) from the road or it may be entirely obstructed. The problem is the thick brush along the creek - mainly Alder and Vine Maple, both of which flourish in avalanche chutes like the valley of Gilbert Creek. As of August 2011 the top 50-75 feet of the upper tier of the falls, as well as most of the final two tiers could be seen from the Cascade River Road (see attached pictures), but the brush will likely grow back quickly and the falls may not be so easily visible in the future. However, given the frequency that avalanches tumble down from Boston Basin in the winter, the cycle will certainly repeat frequently.
- Gilbert Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.
Driving east along US 20 to the town of Marblemount then keep straight onto the Cascade River Road, crossing over the Skagit River where the highway makes a hard left. The Cascade River Road runs 23 miles to the Cascade Pass trailhead in North Cascades National Park, crossing over Gilbert Creek at the 21.5 mile mark. A small pullout on the east side of the creek provides parking. Those who wish to get closer to the falls will want to ascend the woods to the east of the creek, staying well back from the rim of the gorge for the first several hundred feet.