This triple segmented waterfall of the Little Mashel River is the final of the trio of cataracts in the gorge. The falls spill about 40 feet down a jagged channeled step into a murky looking pool of dark water -water stained brown (appears black in deeper areas) by tannic acids. During the winter and spring, the falls become considerably more powerful, but lose some of their photogenic qualities in my opinion. Recently I have found alternate names for both the middle and upper falls, but have seen no reference for an alternate name, or even an official name for that matter, for this waterfall. One word of caution when visiting this location: the trail to the bottom of the falls is overgrown and is in dire need of some steps. It becomes incredibly muddy when wet and the steeper areas can be quite hazardous, so watch your step above everything else, and make sure you can return from where you came.
- Lower Little Mashel Falls is the Adopted name of this waterfall.
The waterfalls of the Little Mashel River could formerly be accessed from a large pullout along the Eatonville Cutoff Road, however signs have recently been erected indicating this is no longer allowed. We had previously thought this to be on the part of the city of Eatonville, but apparently the land is owned by BNSF Railway and they are concerned over people using the trestle across the river upstream from the falls in order to access the trail system. We have been told that the property owners are vigorously enforcing this posting and WILL tow cars found to be parked there. Instead, these waterfalls must now be accessed from the official entrance to the Pack Forest off of Highway 7. We have not yet attempted to access the trail system via this method, but it looks to be about 3 miles from the entrance to the forest to the Falls Trail trailhead (whether the road can be driven or must be walked or biked, we do not know). From the trailhead, the Falls Trail takes off from here along an old two-track heading off into the grassy fields. After following the trail for about 1/3 of a mile, take the left fork at the first junction, and then the first right thereafter. The trail steepens at this point, and becomes progressively more muddy and overgrown as you approach the falls. Total distance from the road is about Â¾ of a mile. Option 2 is to take a hard right on a trail that drops from the railroad tracks right down to the river, then follow the riverbed downstream to Tom Tom Falls, and climb down the cliff next to the falls and pick up the trail and head downstream from there. If the lower falls are your destination, this actually ads distance to hike, because you need to backtrack a little, but it ends up making little difference if you visit all three falls in the gorge. This is not something that should be attempted for parties with children or frail adults (or when the rocks are wet for that matter).