Denny Creek sports dozens of waterfalls - some noteworthy, some not. Keekwulee Falls is the first of the major waterfalls encountered along the Melakwa Lakes trail, but it isn't the lowest waterfall along the creek. Keekwulee may, however, be the most unique. The falls occur where Denny Creek emerges from a narrow canyon and sheets across a wide granite shelf, skipping over a pair of stair-step 20-foot waterfalls before fracturing into three channels - two of which run dry late in the year - and spraying 85 feet into a narrower, deeper canyon than above. Fortunately, viewing the waterfall is a piece of cake, thanks to a wide talus slope directly across the canyon from the falls, which the trail bisects. The one downside is that the uppermost of the three tiers occurs within a small nook in the bedrock, and it can't be seen with the lower two tiers (shown here). When looking at Keekwulee Falls, if you look downstream through the lower canyon, you'll see the top of the next waterfall along the creek - said to be a 40-footer. I didn't try to reach this waterfall, but I imagine it shouldn't be too difficult to search out. Because Denny Creek isn't fed by any lakes or springs above this location, the falls lose much of their appeal late in the year. I'd suggest visiting the falls in mid June, or as soon as dangerous conditions are alleviated from the trail, when Denny Creek is flowing at full force.
- Keekwulee Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Keekwulee falls were named by a party of Mountaineers in 1916, but it is not known for sure when the falls were discovered by westerners. Keekwulee is a Chinook Jargon word meaning "to fall down"Â - rather apt for this waterfall. I have had some doubts as to whether this is the real waterfall targeted for this name, however, after reading an entry in the Tacoma Public Library's Place Names database which stated the falls were located 2/3 of a mile above the mouth of Denny Creek. There is a known waterfall at this location, so I will have to search out the original accounts of the party who named the falls to see which feature this name was historically applied to. Denny Creek was named for the Denny Family, Seattle pioneers (likely for whom Denny Way was named as well), who had mining claims in the area.
Located near Snoqualmie Pass, off of Interstate 90. Depart Interstate 90 at Exit 47 - signed for Denny Creek and Asahel Curtis. Cross the freeway (eastbounders only), and turn right at the first intersection. Proceed Â¼ mile and turn left onto Denny Creek Road # 58. Proceed for 2 miles and turn left onto FR # 5830 - located Â¼ mile east of Denny Creek Campground - signed for the Denny Creek Trail. Proceed to the trailhead at the end of the road and hike in along the moderate trail for 1-Â½ miles to the falls.