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Hemlock Creek Falls
   Skamania County, Washington, United States

This waterfall has been surveyed, mapped and measured in person by the World Waterfall Database.
Photo of Hemlock Creek Falls While Big Creek Canyon and its series of impressive waterfalls are clearly the water features of note seen in the immediate area, those who venture to the canyon-rim viewpoint overlooking the lower Lewis River Canyon will be treated to another sizable, albeit overlooked waterfall. Hemlock Creek, small enough that it isn't even mapped, but large enough that the Forest Service has named it, jumps out of the thick woods, and plunges over 200 feet down the rim of the canyon. The small watershed limits the impressiveness of the falls, which usually run dry or near to dry late in the summer, but a week or two of constant precipitation will bring it back to life in spectacular fashion. The picture above was taken in late September, after nearly 3 weeks of almost constant rain, and I'd never seen the falls running higher.

During the winter of 2012-2013 a huge wind storm toppled numerous trees in the area and destroyed the viewpoint for nearby Big Creek Falls. The Forest Service has since closed the Big Creek Falls trail and its parking lot indefinitely after assessing the danger of additional falling trees to be too high. As the falls are a popular attraction, it is assumed they will be reopened at some point in the future.
Seasonal Discharge
This waterfall occurs along a stream that is known to vary greatly in volume and as a result may not flow consistently year round or may dry out completely during certain periods.


  • Hemlock Creek Falls is the Official name of this waterfall

Location and directions

Take Interstate 5 to the town of Woodland, and exit onto Highway 503 heading east. Follow 503 east to Cougar, and continue to Forrest Service Road # 90, just passed the Pine Creek Ranger Station. Follow FR 90 for 8 1/2 miles to the parking area for Big Creek Falls on the left (if you cross Big Creek on a bridge, you've gone too far). As of 2013 the Big Creek Falls trail and viewpoint have been closed indefinitely due to hazards posed by falling trees, and the parking lot cordoned off. Should the trail reopen, follow the easy trail for about 500 feet to the viewing area for Big Creek Falls, then proceed another 100 feet downstream, to a trail forking to the right, marked only by a sign that states "trail". Follow this trail for about 3/4 of a mile, at a fenced viewpoint looking out over the Lewis River Canyon, with Hemlock Creek Falls off to the left.

Hemlock Creek Falls is shown in the center. Additional nearby waterfalls (if any) can be found in the list below.

Additional Nearby Waterfalls

Name of Waterfall Distance
Lower Cave Falls 0.41 mi / 0.65 km
Cave Falls 0.74 mi / 1.19 km
Big Creek Falls 0.99 mi / 1.59 km
Unnamed Waterfall 1.96 mi / 3.13 km
Tribulation Falls 2.52 mi / 4.03 km
Rush Creek Falls 2.99 mi / 4.78 km
Curly Creek Falls 3.38 mi / 5.41 km
Miller Creek Falls 3.53 mi / 5.64 km
McClellan Falls 3.84 mi / 6.14 km
Upper Curly Creek Falls 3.98 mi / 6.38 km


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Photo of Hemlock Creek Falls

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Photography tips

I recommend a moderate telephoto for this one. Anything in excess of 200mm is overkill, but 100mm is not quite enough, if you want the falls to fill the frame. Beware nasty haze issues which plague this waterfall on sunny afternoons. Best light in the morning.

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