Mackintosh Falls is a large, powerful, deliciously complex waterfall located where Elliot Creek drops over the headwall immediately below the outlet of Goat Lake within the Henry M Jackson Wilderness Area. Elliot Creek flows no more than 100 feet from the logjam at the lake's outlet before it drops over the first part of the falls, a wide, very scenic 15 foot veiling fall. The creek gathers itself quickly then hurtles over the biggest part of the falls, a twisting cascade of 182 feet that starts vertical and becomes less steep, then reverts to a near vertical drop at its base. A little more than halfway down this cascade, the creek splits around a craggy rock, one side fluming into a narrow gorge in two vertical steps, while the other side skips down then spreads into a wide veil, which unfortunately can't be seen clearly (trees blocking) or easily approached unless the creek is running low. The next step is a side-by-side drop of 30 feet, followed by a plunge of 19 feet and the final drop is a sliding cascade of another 20 feet. The creek does keep dropping at a fairly steep pitch below here, but it becomes harder to access and doesn't look like it contacts the bedrock any longer below the 20 foot slide, so I'm calling that the bottom of the falls. Elliot Creek is a fairly large stream and the falls will retain a substantial flow for the majority of the year thanks to several small glaciers feeding into Goat Lake, though late in the season it will be substantially less impressive a waterfall.
- Mackintosh Falls is the Historical name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: McIntosh Falls, Elliot Creek Falls
William M. Mackintosh, with his brother Charles M. Mackintosh, ran the Penn Mining Company operation at the Foggy Mine at Goat Lake. In 1891, William Mackintosh and James Bedal are credited with exploring the Elliott Creek drainage, and are thought to have discovered Goat Lake as well as the falls. Between 1927 and 1936 the Mackintosh family, whom the falls were named for, operated a rustic lodge near the top of the falls. Portions of the original road up the creek can be found around the falls, particularly along a stretch of trail at the top of the falls and another near the base.
Mackintosh Falls is found at the outlet of Goat Lake within the Henry Jackson Wilderness. To find the trailhead, follow the Mountain Loop Highway north from Barlow Pass for 3 1/2 miles to FSR #4080, signed for the Goat Lake trail. Follow the road to its end in 3/4 mile. The trail starts along the old roadbed and splits into two trails shortly, converging several miles later (the lower trail is shorter by about a mile). The trail approaches the base of the falls at about 3.8 miles and reaches the top of the falls at 4 1/4 miles. There are numerous user paths leading to several viewpoints of different parts of the falls and scrambling up and down the whole length of cascades is fairly easy in all.