Asbestos Creek Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the state of Washington which can be seen from a road, but it isn't highly regarded due to its seasonal nature and the fact that only about one-third to half of the falls can be seen with ease. Asbestos Creek flows essentially from the summit of Jumbo Mountain and cascades in a seemingly never-ending series of falls down the mountainside in a series of falls and cascades. Because there is no apparent beginning to the falls it's difficult to say exactly how tall the falls are.
When visiting the falls, the seven lower-most tiers are easily visible from the road, or by scrambling up the steep trail that heads upstream. These tiers drop for a total of 335 feet in a variety of forms, individually 90, 71, 34, 33, 67, 23, and 17-feet respectively. Continuing upstream there are at least three more major tiers which should be considered part of the falls, including one which may be over 300 feet tall by itself, and another of perhaps 200 feet, with at least four or five smaller drops interspersed between. It could potentially be argued that given the almost non-stop nature of waterfalls in the creek the height of the falls could stretch to as much as 2,500 feet (possibly more), but unfortunately there is simply no way to access the upper reaches of the drainage to see what else may lie up there.
Because the drainage area of Asbestos Creek is fairly small, the stream does exhibit substantial seasonal behavior. Snow may persist near the summit of Jumbo Mountain through July, but by the end of August the basin will be largely parched and the volume of the creek will be reduced considerably (but not likely to the point where it dries out entirely). Visiting in the late spring and early summer months will yield the best conditions.
- Asbestos Creek Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Starting in the town of Darrington, from the IGA market on the corner of Highway 530 take the Mountain Loop Highway south toward Barlow Pass for 2-3/4 miles and then turn right onto NFR #2060. Asbestos Creek is encountered just under three miles along Road 2060 where the creek flows directly over the road via a concrete low water crossing. The base of the falls can be seen from the road, but the majority of the falls may be obscured by trees (depending on the season). Find a rough trail which climbs steeply up the right side of the creek to access clear views of the majority of the falls.