Cave Falls is perhaps one of the most disappointing waterfalls in the whole state, but not for the reasons you'd expect. Cave Falls is also probably one of the most unique waterfalls in the whole state. Big Creek carves an impressive canyon as it makes its final descent from the volcanic plateau to the southwest of Mount Adams. Within this canyon are two notable waterfalls, Big Creek Falls, the more well known, and Cave Falls, the taller and more unique (by a long shot). Cave Falls occurs where the canyon constricts to just yards wide, and drops down one of the only true Slot Canyons in Washington. About 2/3 of the way down the canyon, the creek enters a natural cave, resulting in the name of the falls. As the creek emerges, it plunges about 40 feet into a large undercut grotto, then accelerates down the final portion of Cave Falls, which is, unfortunately the only part readily visible, hence the disappointment factor. In all, the falls are estimated to drop at least 450 feet, with a final plunge of maybe 150 feet or more. Only the top 100 feet of the final plunge can be seen (unless you happen to be able to levitate). Walking along the trail, the falls are clearly audible, and fleeting glimpses can be had through the trees of portions of the falls, but short of donning a wet suit, and rappelling down the canyon itself, there is no way of seeing the entire falls.
- Cave Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Cave Falls was named, obviously, for the cave which the falls drop through. It is not know when, or by whom the falls were discovered, but I suspect they weren't widely known until the early 90s, when the Forest Service redeveloped the Big Creek trail system.
Located near Eagle Cliff, along FR 90. Drive for about 8 3/4 miles east of the end of SR 503 (SR 503 becomes FR 23, and FR 90 turns to the right), or about 5 1/2 miles west of the Lower Falls Recreation area to the signed Big Creek Falls trailhead. Follow the easy trail for about 500 feet to the viewing area for Big Creek Falls, then proceed another 100 feet downstream, to a trail forking to the right, marked only by a sign that states "trail"Â. Follow this trail for about 1/2 mile to fenced viewpoints looking down on the falls from on top of a sheer cliff perched over 400 feet above the floor of the canyon. Parents, keep kids on a short leash here.