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Torment Falls
   Skagit County, Washington

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

Just prior to crossing the North Fork Cascade River for the last time, motorists driving the Cascade River Road may notice a lofty series of steep cascades visible through the trees across the valley. This waterfall is both one of the tallest in the area as well as one of the most agonizingly difficult waterfalls to see in the area. Torment Creek, fed by remnant glacier fragments and snowfields on Mount Torment, cascades somewhere between 1200 and 1600 feet down the steep wall of the Cascade River valley, its final drop as a rather impressive 3 or 4 tiered horsetailing waterfall. Its hard to gauge where the falls begin and though I have reached the foot, mapping the location is a tricky endevor. Unfortunately the falls cannot be easily seen due to a stand of quite rudely obstructive trees along the banks of the North Fork Cascade River (though the river in this area did flood severely in 2006 and may have exposed a view since), so the only readily clear view of the falls is from the immediate base where only a fraction can be seen.

HISTORY AND NAMING INFORMATION

  • Torment Falls is the Proposed name of this waterfall.

I initially gave this waterfall the working name of Torment Falls after the creek, well before I knew what it had in store for me. Turns out there must have been some kind of karma in the air that day, because after having tried 3 times to view the falls, only to find that only a fraction can be seen, I don't think I could have named it better. To this day, it still torments me.

LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS

moderate access

Driving east along US 20, enter the town of Marblemount. At a bend in the highway (in the middle of town), keep straight across the bridge spanning the Skagit River, when Highway 20 makes a sharp left. This is the Cascade River Road, which ends in 23 miles, at the Cascade Pass trailhead. Proceed for about 20 1/2 miles from US 20, about 2 3/4 miles from the boundary of North Cascades National Park, to a pair of picnic sites, just before crossing the North Fork Cascade River for the last time. Park here, and walk across the bridge, then dive into the woods to the left of the road. Stay away from the river, where the brush is thick. The woods are relatively open in this area, and travel isn't that hard. Heading gradually uphill, towards Torment Creek, you'll eventually run into the avalanche path, brush central. When you hit the thick brush, start heading straight up the hill, still in the woods. Eventually, you'll hit a dry streambed of some sort, where you can continue working towards the creek under cover of smaller trees. Following this up, you'll come out of the brush at the base of a rock incline, with the falls on the left. Just walk up the mossy rocks, and head a little further left, and you should come out near the bottom of the final 300 feet of the falls (as seen above). Total distance from the road is about a quarter of a mile. The falls can also be viewed through the trees about 400 feet west of the bridge over the Cascade River, along the Cascade River Road.

Latitude

48.49719 N

Longitude

-121.10602 W

Elevation

3325 feet

USGS Quadrangle

Cascade Pass 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

Gilbert Falls

1.45 miles

Boston Creek Falls

2.285 miles

Roush Creek Falls

2.403 miles

Johannesburg Falls

2.523 miles

Morning Star Falls

2.76 miles

Midas Creek Falls

2.883 miles

Soldier Boy Falls

2.944 miles

Cascade Basin Falls 1

3.144 miles

Upper Soldier Boy Falls

3.386 miles

Cascade Basin Falls 2

3.425 miles

 

 

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Magnitude

47.52

IWC

3.1  (Class 4)

RATING

56.05 %

 

Photo of Torment Falls

[ View Pictures ]

 

PHYSICAL MAKEUP

Height

1440 feet

Tallest Drop

 

Num. Drops

AVG. Width

15 feet

Pitch

68 degrees

Run

2600 feet

Primary Form

Horsetail

 

Watershed

Cascade River

Stream

Torment Creek

AVG. Volume

40.0 cfs

Source

Glacier

Seasonality

Best Flows

May to September

 
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Search for Torment Falls on Google

Information on this waterfall at the World Waterfall Database

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

       
 

UPDATE HISTORY

Jul 28, 2011

Added a picture(s) of this waterfall

 
 
 
 
 

 

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