Despite the bland name, Falls Creek Falls is an absolute juggernaut. Descending over the western edge of the Red Mountain plateau, itself a product of the volcanic eruptions which created nearby Big Lava Field, Falls Creek thunders 60 feet over a fanning ledge, then spreads out and doubles in width as it falls 90 feet over the next bulbous cliff and finally gathers and hurtles a final 60 feet into a bowl. A short distance downstream is a long bedrock slide that drops an additional 30 feet or so that could possibly be considered a fourth tier, but it is quite difficult to photograph, much less view. Previous estimates had the falls at closer to 275 feet tall, but the 1998 Termination Point quadrangle notates the drop at a specific 207 feet in height (we have yet to confirm this, but feel it is accurate). The plain truth is that south of Mount Rainier National Park there may be 2 or 3 waterfalls, at most, that could stack up to this one. The only reason Falls Creek Falls might be edged out of the title of Best in Southwest Washington is that the angle at which the falls descend the headwall doesn't present itself well to viewing. The size of the formation is plainly apparent on the approach, but the upper tier is pretty much obscured from view by foreshortening issues when viewing the falls from the trails end, and the lower tier and lower half of the middle tier can't be seen where the upper tier can be clearly viewed. Sure would be nice if a nasty winter storm would pass through and rip out a few dozen trees.
- Falls Creek Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
The creek was named for the existence of the falls, and the falls were, in turn, named for the creek. Someone was really creative with this one.
Falls Creek Falls is accessed from the Wind River Highway north of Carson. Approximately 16 miles north of Carson or 10 miles south of Oldman Pass, turn east onto FSR 3062, which is signed for Falls Creek. After 2 miles the road splits - turn right onto road 3062-057 and follow signs to the Lower Falls Creek Trailhead in another Â¾ mile. From the parking lot, the trail leads 1 Â¾ miles along a moderately gentle grade to the falls. The upper and middle tiers will be seen shortly after crossing a sizable tributary, and the middle and lower tiers will be encountered about 300 feet further.