Rainbow Falls might possibly be the most disappointing waterfall in the Pacific Northwest. The falls occur within the Chehalis River where it intersects a low bench of basalt and skips about 5 feet downward in a gradual slide. The feature resembles more of a rapid than a waterfall (at high water this is a much more obvious trait), but the reason its such a big disappointment is the presence of the surrounding Rainbow Falls State Park. I suppose there may have not been anything else to name the park for, but that the state graced the park with the falls' moniker will undoubtedly mislead some people.
- Rainbow Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
The origin of the name of the falls hasn't been confirmed, but the most plausible is a local story, which states that it was named by George Onn of Dryad, for the Rainbow Division, which participated in World War I.
Should you desire to waste your time at Rainbow Falls, the falls and park can be found along Highway 6, east of Pe Ell. Drive south from Olympia along I-5 to the signed exit for Rainbow Falls State Park. Turn right onto Highway 6 and drive about 16 miles west to the park. The falls are adjacent to the bridge crossing the Chehalis River which leads to the campground.