Ever since I got my first copy of Delormes' Washington Atlas and Gazetteer, Olney Falls has taunted me. For maybe as long as 15 years, I had scrutinized maps, poured through books and stared down the hills wondering how the hell a waterfall so close to iconic Wallace Falls could have eluded access or documentation. Well, the issue can finally be put to rest. Olney has a storied history - being used as a power source for early logging operations, the location of a flume used to transport trees felled and floated down the creek, and then flat out being forgotten despite a road crossing right in front of it. Part of the issue is that the falls are not nearly as obvious or impressive as nearby Wallace Falls, but part of it is also the falls lie on or near actively logged land. The gorge where the falls occur remains verdantly forested, but powerline clearings and maturing saplings seen en route to the falls tell a different story. My initial impression of the falls was that the short gorge at the falls is much more impressive in person than I had perceived. Cliffs extend for 150 vertical feet straight up from the falls, which cascade over, around and through huge jumbles of boulders which have fallen into the gorge, dropping about 50 feet. During lower flows of the summer, the falls will be much less impressive, but in the rainy season, this is quite an impressive waterfall, well worth the 15 year wait.
- Olney Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Drive east from Monroe to Kellogg Lake Road, immediately east of the town of Startup. About 500 feet up the road from US 2 is a gated logging road on the right. Park here, being sure not to block the gate, and walk along the road for about 1 Â½ miles to the falls.