Fish Ladder Falls is the tallest and most impressive waterfall along Summit Creek, but perhaps also the most frustrating. The falls crash 119 feet over two steps (20 and 99 feet respectively) with a third tier apparently just downstream (which I couldn't see from my vantage). The falls are located in a section of canyon over 200 feet deep and just as wide, which unfortunately means there is plenty of room for trees to grow in the canyon to block views of the falls. I have a feeling it may prove necessary to rappel into the canyon to attain a definitively clear shot of the falls.
- Fish Ladder Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Located just outside Mount Rainier National Park, near Highway 12. From the junction of US 12 and SR 123, just south of the southern entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, drive east, towards White Pass, along US 12 for 1.3 miles, to Summit Creek Road #4510. Follow this road just over 2 miles to the Summit Creek Campground and bear left on FR 4510-029 just before crossing Summit Creek. The road immediately gets brushy and can only be traveled for 1/4 mile before parking is necessary (park at the junction if you wish). Follow the old road for 1 1/4 miles to a large old camp area adjacent to a former clearcut. Fording a tributary stream may be necessary. Look for an obvious route into the clearcut near a firepit and walk 200 yards to the canyon rim where the falls are partly visible. The whole route is fairly brushy but easy to follow as long as you are able to identify the old roadbed.