While perhaps the name is a bit overzealous in its comparison with the world famous giant below Lake Erie, Little Niagara Falls is a very fittingly named and very scenic waterfall. Tillicum Creek drains from the very northern edge of the Indian Heaven volcanic field and throughout the course of the stream are numerous intrusions of volcanic bedrock. Shortly above the falls the stream sheets across a wide smooth basalt formation for several hundred feet, then upon reaching the rim of the canyon the rock forms a broad horseshoe shape which causes the creek to enter the falls in a much wider veil. The right side of the 74 foot tall falls plunge straight down, while the left side spreads out over diagonally pitched rock, stretching the width of the falls to nearly 150 feet at its apex.
While the falls lie only about 800 linear feet away from the nearest road, because of the narrow and steep nature of the canyon - as well as the thick forest - few people are aware of the presence of the falls, and the lack of developed access doesn't help the matter. Because of the steep terrain involved in accessing the falls, it is not recommended as a destination for those who do not have experience in off-trail travel through similar terrain.
- Little Niagara Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
The most direct route to Little Niagara Falls is to take the Lewis River Road (FSR 90) east from SR 503 to its junction with FSR 88, which is 7.2 miles west of the junction of Forest Service Roads 90 and 23, or 9.2 miles east of the Lower Lewis River Falls Recreation Area. From FSR 90, follow Road 88 (paved) for 1.4 miles then turn right onto Road 8832 (gravel), which may or may not be signed. Follow Road 8832 gradually uphill for 5 1/4 miles to a sharp bend to the left and park. If you reach the bridge over Tillicum Creek, you've gone a quarter of a mile too far. The key to reaching the base of Little Niagara Falls is to find the right place to descend in the woods. Do NOT head straight for the creek where the falls are audible, you will end up cliffed out at the top of the falls - if you find yourself in such a position, backtrack UP the slope, do not attempt to side-hill parallel to the creek as the slopes are much to treacherous to traverse. Instead look for a flag tied to a tree branch along the road slightly downstream from the most audible sound of the falls and descend paralleling the creek for a short distance, then turn to the left and head down the steepest part of the canyon. If you found the right spot, the descent to the creek should be mostly brush free via a steep forested slope. The falls will be about 300 feet upstream at this point and fording the creek several times may be necessary to reach its base.