Lazy Bear Falls is a significant waterfall located near the mouth of Falls Creek, itself a tributary of Bacon Creek, a few miles outside the border of North Cascades National Park. Falls Creek drains from a high basin on the east flank of Diobsud and Electric Buttes, both an extension of the Bacon Peak massif. As it flows from elevations over 6,000 there is significant snow melt feeding into the creek as well as melt from several small glaciers. By the time the creek reaches the valley floor and plunges over the back-to-back 27 and 47 foot punchbowl drops which make up Lazy Bear Falls the volume of the creek is considerable. During the spring and early summer months when snow melt is at its peak, the falls upper tier thunders into its basin and then the creek splits into two segments as it plunges over the lower tier. By late summer and autumn the volume is reduced such that the lower tier of the falls is a single, very narrow punchbowl type plunge. At nearly any time of year the recess behind the falls can be traversed for an even more unique perspective.
- Lazy Bear Falls is the Proposed name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: Falls Creek Falls
This waterfall has for the most part been referred to simply as Falls Creek Falls, no colloquial names are known. The name Lazy Bear Falls was suggested by Burlington resident and waterfall hunter Aaron Young after a visit to the falls resulted in encountering a lethargic black bear scrounging in trash left in the parking area / campsite at the end of the road next to the falls. Falls Creek itself is thought to have been named for the presence of this waterfall.
Lazy Bear Falls is found south of the North Cascades National Park boundary in the Bacon Creek valley near Marblemount. Drive the North Cascades Highway (US 20) east from Marblemount for almost 5 miles. Just after crossing Bacon Creek, turn left onto Bacon Creek Road and follow it for 5.6 miles to a junction. From this point the road becomes rough and is not well suited to vehicles without high clearance or 4-wheel drive but if taken carefully it should be navigable (as of May 2011 at least). Bear left at the junction, cross Bacon Creek and drive another 1.9 miles to the end of the road, staying straight (left) at the fork one mile from the bridge. The last 3/4 of a mile of the road is filled with water bars and gets steep near the end. At the end of the road, find an obvious trail at the downhill apex of the parking area (not near the creek) which will lead shortly and easily to good views of the falls. Closer views can be had by scrambling down to the streambed.