Calligan Creek houses a rather large waterfall about 1/2 mile above its mouth. The falls drop a total of 156 feet in immediately back-to-back-to-back steps of 68, 41 and 47 feet respectively. Each tier twists away from the previous drop in such a way that with the orientation of the canyon there is currently no way to clearly see all three tiers collectively (this could change if several trees were to fall). Unfortunately the obscured views are not the only obstacle presented in attempting to see this waterfall. The canyon itself is structured in such a way that the slopes are too steep to climb down (in many places the cliffs are sheer) and the most direct views of the falls are blocked entirely by the forest. Only one even remotely clear view is possible without being at the bottom of the canyon, and it involves being perched on a ledge about 2 feet wide with a sheer 150 foot drop on three sides. Because of this precarious viewpoint we do not recommend attempting to visit this waterfall until a safer point of access can be found.
Snohomish County currently has submitted preliminary applications to construct a dam near the outlet of Calligan Lake which would harness Calligan Creek for hydroelectric generation. Based on the current application documents, the dam would allow for a minimum release of 2 cubic feet per second throughout the year, but would be ramped up to as much as 15 cfs during the summer months. The power house would likely be shut off during the summer when flows do not reach the minimum release levels. Coupled with natural springs which feed into Calligan Creek above the falls, there should be at least 4-5 cubic feet of water per second flowing over the falls at all times under this proposal, which is still a reduction of nearly 90% of its natural mean flow.
The falls lie on the Snoqualmie Tree Farm and though public access is allowed, visitors are limited to non-motorized travel unless they have purchased an expensive vehicle access permit which comes with a key to the gates on the property. The road system is in excellent shape for mountain biking, which is our preferred method of access.
- Calligan Creek Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.
The waterfalls on the Snoqualmie Tree Farm are accessed from the Spur 10 gate along the North Fork road north of North Bend. From North Bend, head north on Ballarat Avenue which later becomes North Fork County Road. Just under 4 miles from town, bear left (uphill) onto the fork signed as a dead end. About 3 3/4 miles later you'll reach Spur 10 Gate (on the right) where a major cross road intersects the North Fork Road. Park here and walk or bike the gated road for 1 1/2 miles to a three-way junction just past the bridge over the North Fork Snoqualmie River. Head left at the junction and go another 1.8 miles to the bridge over Calligan Creek. To access the falls, backtrack a few hundred feet and begin climbing up the hillside adjacent to the creek, right on the border of the woods and the clearcut. The falls can be seen through the trees after climbing about 220 vertical feet up, but clear views are very difficult to find.