This spectacular waterfall is formed when the outlets of Copper Lake and Malachite Lake break into a valley and horsetail side-by-side hundreds of feet down the headwall. Even though the falls are visible from almost a miles length of trail, the only way to see the entire falls unobstructed is to bushwhack to it's base. At no point along the trail could I find a place where the bottom 75 - 100 feet of the fall from Copper Lake isn't hidden by a tree or two, and there doesn't appear to be anywhere where the fall from Malachite Lake is visible from the trail. I found that the best trailside views of the falls were from a rock slide area about 3/4 of the way up the valley (maybe 10 switchbacks in) from Middle Copper Falls. I got most of the segment from Malachite Lake from here, but the bottom is still out of view. Most people who hike passed Malachite Falls are struck at the sheer size of the falls, however, I've yet to hear of anyone who's seen both segments of the falls. This is easily one of the best waterfalls in the northwest at any time of year. Shown above and in the second picture (see Additional Pictures) is the segment flowing out of Copper Lake. I have not yet been able to see the segment flowing from Malachite Lake.
- Malachite Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Malachite Falls was locally named, and subsequently adopted by the USBGN, for the presence of malachite ore, a carbonate of copper. This name probably dates back to the mining boom of the Skykomish valleys of the early 1900s.
Driving east along US 2 from Monroe, proceed only about 1/2 mile east of the Skykomish Ranger Station (about 2 miles east of Skykomish) to the signed Foss River Road NE. Turn and drive roughly 6.5 miles, following the signs for West Fork Foss trail # 1062. After about 4.5 miles, Road 68 which you came in on goes straight across the river, you'll want to turn left onto Road 6835, and proceed to the road's end and trailhead. The trail starts out over a old streambed and crosses the Foss River after about 1/2 mile. The bridge is made out of a log jam, and the route across isn't the most obvious. Shoestring Falls is visible across the valley. In 1 1/2 miles from the trailhead, you'll reach Trout Lake. At the 2 mile mark, the trail passes near Copper Creek for the first time, with Middle Copper Falls immediately downstream, and Upper Copper Falls just upstream. The trail now starts climbing up, gaining 1500 feet in about 1 mile. At the 2 1/2 mile mark, the falls become evident through the trees, and beginning at 3 miles along the trail, there are many views of the falls. To reach the base of the falls, you'll have to find any of several dry washes that lead steeply down to the creek from the trail, then bushwhack or rockhop upstream to the falls.