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Gorge Creek Falls
   Whatcom County, Washington

[ Physical Makeup ]  [ Pictures ]  [ Maps ]  [ Update History ]

Gorge Creek Falls is one of the few developed waterfalls in the North Cascades National Park complex. US 20 spans the impressive chasm that obviously provoked the naming of the creek a short distance below the falls, providing a spectacular view of both the falls and aqua-blue Gorge Lake on the opposite side of the bridge. The falls stream down the side of the gorge, the upper tier unfortunately at such an angle that it's quite obscured. As a bonus, there is another waterfall just east of the Gorge Creek bridge which sprays down to US 20, then drops again into the gorge downstream of the bridge. Gorge Creek Falls were rather popular with professional photographers prior to February of 2003, when the falls were drastically altered. It appears that a massive flash flood tore down the canyon, ripping out several trees adjacent to the falls, removing the very large boulders that lay between the two tiers and immediately below the falls, scoured out the walls of the canyon and in some places even dug the canyon deeper. Having visited these falls several times before the event, this was quite a shock. The high water marks can be seen on the gorge walls, and a massive gravel bar now occupies the gorge just above where it enters Gorge Lake. Later on, during the October 2003 floods, it appears that the falls were again scoured and altered further. Comparing before and after photos, the high water marks reached a good 50+ feet above the bottom of the canyon, so there must have been an unimaginable amount of water flowing down Gorge Creek at the time. Prior to all the alteration, Gorge Creek Falls was measured at 242 feet. I've measured the falls myself and this still pans out, however it doesn't take into account the lower tier created as a result of the floods.

HISTORY AND NAMING INFORMATION

  • Gorge Creek Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.

The falls were named for the creek, which was obviously named for the gorge at the falls. The name has been in use since the early 1900s when the Skagit Gorge was first explored.

LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS

Gorge Creek Falls is located about 3 miles east of Newhalem along US 20, within North Cascades National Park. The falls can be seen from the pedestrian walkway along the bridge. The parking lot is well signed, and the viewpoint is marked on the National Park maps, which can be obtained for free at the Information Center in Newhalem.

Latitude

48.70311 N

Longitude

-121.21073 W

Elevation

1285 feet

USGS Quadrangle

Diablo Dam 7 1/2"

Online USGS Topographic maps on Terraserver

Aerial Photographs: Terraserver | Flash Earth

Download KML

Open this location in Google Earth

OTHER NEARBY WATERFALLS

Name

Distance

Bouck Falls

1.276 miles

Ketchum Creek Falls

1.433 miles

Ladder Creek Falls

3.536 miles

Newhalem Falls

3.969 miles

Davis Peak Falls

4.026 miles

Camp Dayo Falls

4.691 miles

Stettatle Creek Falls

4.747 miles

Bucket Creek Falls

4.949 miles

Pyramid Creek Falls

5.304 miles

Newhalem Creek Falls

5.396 miles

 

 

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Magnitude

47.6

IWC

2.15  (Class 3)

RATING

56.2 %

 

Photo of Gorge Creek Falls

[ View Pictures ]

 

PHYSICAL MAKEUP

Height

242 feet

Tallest Drop

100 feet

Num. Drops

5

AVG. Width

10 feet

Pitch

81 degrees

Run

75 feet

Primary Form

Tiered Plunges

 

Watershed

Skagit River

Stream

Gorge Creek

AVG. Volume

75.0 cfs

Source

Runoff

Seasonality

Best Flows

March to July

 
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Search for Gorge Creek Falls on Google

Information on this waterfall at the World Waterfall Database

Search for more pictures at:
Flickr | PBase | Webshots | Smugmug

       
 

UPDATE HISTORY

Jul 24, 2011

Added a picture(s) of this waterfall

 
 
 
 
 

 

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