Observant passengers driving west along Interstate 90 just east of Twin Falls State Park may notice a brief glimpse of a significant waterfall along Change Creek above the old railroad bridge spanning the creek. The bridge, now part of the Iron Horse Trail, unfortunately does not offer up any such views of the falls and in result few people are actively aware of their existence. What is being missed out on is surprisingly significant - a multi-stepped waterfall dropping about 330 feet in nine distinct tiers ranging from 13 to 96 feet in height. But as hinted at by the lack of views from the Iron Horse Trail, it isn't at all easy to view the falls, or even just parts of it, and that has kept it from achieving greater notoriety. The canyon of Change Creek is formed by a huge cliff looming 400 or more feet above the creek on the east side, and steep thickly forested slopes on the other which don't lend well to navigation, and this ultimately makes visiting the falls difficult at best.
The nine drops which make up the falls start off with tightly grouped back-to-back horsetails dropping about 20 and 40 feet respectively. Next up is a free-falling plunge and then a dome shaped cascade each about 50 feet in height. This leads into the largest drop, a horsetail which impacts several angular ledges as it falls and veils outwards for 96 feet. Immediately below is a squarish cascade of 13 feet, followed by a 42 foot plunge-to-horsetail drop over a small undercut cliff. The final two drops occur back to back for about 30 feet. On our most recent visit we were only able to accurately measure about half of the falls, so a further visit will be required to determine more accurate heights for the rest of the individual steps.
- Change Creek Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.
Change Creek Falls is found near Olallie State Park just off Interstate 90 east of North Bend. Driving east from North Bend, depart I-90 at Exit 38 - signed for Olallie State Park, then turn right at the end of the off-ramp. Continue six-tenths of a mile to the bridge over Change Creek and park in the large pullout on the left side of the road. From here an unmarked but well maintained trail climbs along Change Creek up to the Iron Horse Trail to access several popular rock climbing areas. Follow this trail for a little over one-eighth of a mile to where it crosses beneath the Change Creek trestle. Just past the bridge a less obvious path can be found heading upstream. After another 500 feet or so the lowermost tier of the falls will come into view, where it is fairly easy to scramble down to the base. From this point the path gets much steeper and more difficult. Follow orange flags when in doubt. Clear views of other parts of the falls can be obtained by descending off the trail at various locations, but nowhere is it either obvious or terribly safe, so proceed at your own risk.