Alpine Falls is the final and largest waterfall along the Tye River. The falls occur as the Tye slides down a wide, bulbous granite step where the river exits a shallow gorge. Though the falls are located just off US Highway 2, and at certain times of the year, are quite obvious, few people take time to stop at the falls (most likely due to the lack of development). During periods of high river volume the falls veil out over the entire cliff face, but once the annual snowmelt subsides by the beginning of July, the river splits into two narrower channels as it descends over the falls. Surprisingly, this is one of the few waterfalls in the state that is commonly labeled on state highway maps, despite its lack of development. This could be, in part, because the falls used to be plainly visible from the highway as little as 30 years ago.
- Alpine Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
This name has been in use since the early days of the Old Cascade Highway. The origin of the name is unknown, but is likely related to the relatively high elevation of the falls in proximity to Stevens Pass. Old black and white photographs show Alpine Falls to have been much more visible in the early days of the Old Cascade Highway. Trees have since grown and obscured the falls almost entirely from the present highway.
Alpine Falls are located approximately 8 1/2 miles east of Skykomish, at the second bridge over the Tye River, along Highway 2. Paths descend from the large pullout to the falls.