John Muir once wrote "Even the blind must enjoy these woods". Even though this quote doesn't necessarily apply to this particular location, Whinnimic Falls and the basin it occurs in is one of those places that even a blind man would find unimaginably beautiful. Whinnimic Falls strives to be the center of attention in this valley, but one can't help gawking at the massive face of all five summits of Lemah Mountain looming over the cascading headwaters of Lemah Creek. First impressions of the area lead to obvious comparisons to parts of the Swiss Alps - the headwaters of Lemah Creek plunging over lacy waterfalls before flowing through gentle pond-like pools amid grassy meadows in the valley floor with the mountains towering 4000 feet above. The falls themselves, as mentioned, do their best to be the center of attention, plunging 350 feet (plus or minus about 30 feet - couldn't get close enough to take an accurate measurement) over a sheer cliff. Though the stream feeding the falls heads in a small glacier and a pair of tarns high up on Lemah Mountain, the volume of the creek shrivels to nearly nothing by September in most years, but it does retain flow all year long. I often feel conflicted about publicizing places like this because as delicate as the area is, I wish more could see it. Usually the photo-bug wins out, and, as in this case, I will leave the route finding up to you. If you do visit this area, please remember that while nature isn't nearly as fragile as some say, a place as special as this can be ruined very easily if not treated well.
- Whinnimic Falls is the Historical name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: Upper Lemah Creek Falls
Fred Beckey mentions this waterfall by name in the red Cascade Alpine Guide. The origins are not known.
Whinnimic Falls is accessed from the Lemah Basin route, starting from the Pacific Crest Trail's crossing of Lemah Creek. The shortest route to the falls is 7 Â¼ miles via the Pete Lake trail (this can be done in a day since its fairly flat, but its worth staying overnight). Stay on the north side of the creek for the whole climb. After an initial brushy stretch, the route follows exposed granite slabs uphill towards Point 3584 where the falls will be visible. Closer views are had from the meadows on the valley floor.