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Twin Falls
   Whatcom County, Washington, United States

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This waterfall has been surveyed, mapped and measured in person by the World Waterfall Database.
Photo of Twin Falls Twin Falls is yet another case of a long forgotten, yet surprisingly significant waterfall amid much more impressive scenery. Located near the headwaters of Lookout Creek, the falls skip around 600 feet down a large cliff, splitting into two channels about 1/3 of the way down. When viewing the falls from below, the falls appear as follows; the right channel possesses the most volume, probably 75 percent or more, and consists of a 250 foot twisting three-tiered drop (pictured above), followed by 150 feet of steep cascades made up of a series of 20 to 30 foot falls. The left channel, which only appears to flow well when the creek is running higher, drops a sheer 300 feet over a solid wall, then cascades steeply for about 100 feet to the confluence with the left channel. The top 175 to 200 feet of the falls appear to be virtually impossible to see. Despite its proximity, and visibility from the Glacier Creek Road, two factors work against this waterfall. One; Lookout Creek possesses a very small watershed, and though it appears to flow all year long, by the late summer, it's nothing more than a trickle. Two; even though part the falls can be seen from the road (that being the top of the 300 foot fall on the left channel of the falls), due to the small volume of the stream, and the tall trees surrounding the streambed, you really have to be looking for the falls in order to successfully find them. On my first trip up the Glacier Creek Road, I was keeping watch for anything waterfall-like, but I didn't notice this one. Upon returning, I easily found the location of the falls, but the stream flow was low enough that I didn't even bother hiking to the base of the falls.

HISTORY AND NAMES


  • Twin Falls is the Historical name of this waterfall

The falls were obviously named for the side-by-side segments which the creek forms as it drops over the falls. Though both segments can't be seen in tandem today, I suspect they may have been visible together when the falls were named. The falls were marked by name on a 1912 map of the Mount Baker area, and may have been discovered by the Easton Party. The Glacier-Mount Baker Trail, which climbed to the cabin at Camp Heliotrope (now gone), crossed Lookout Creek near the base of the falls. The grade which the trail climbed can still be seen between the two segments of the falls.

Location and directions


Located on Heliotrope Ridge on the north side of Mount Baker. Heading east from Maple Falls, along Highway 542, just 7/10 of a mile to Glacier Creek Road, and turn right. Follow Glacier Creek Road for about 5 1/2 miles to where the road crosses Lookout Creek. The creek isn't labeled, so keep watch for three crossings of a small stream, as the road climbs steeply up the hillside; Lookout Creek is the third crossing. Though falls are only about 1/5 of a mile upstream from the road, getting close to the falls is a slow task. The route isn't terribly difficult, but will require perseverance, and perhaps a machete to hack through the numerous Devil's Club stalks that line the creek. If you plan on climbing to clear viewpoints of the right segment of the falls (not recommended), plan on scaling a very steep slope. Fording the creek may be necessary at several points. I do not recommend this trek unless you are familiar and comfortable with off-trail scrambling.

Twin 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
Grouse Butte Falls 1.72 mi / 2.76 km
Clearwater Falls 1.82 mi / 2.91 km
Skyline Falls 1.85 mi / 2.96 km
Smith Creek Falls 2.24 mi / 3.58 km
Rock Gnome Falls 2.27 mi / 3.63 km
Tennant Falls 2.41 mi / 3.85 km
Kulshan Falls 2.52 mi / 4.04 km
Upper Kulshan Falls 2.74 mi / 4.39 km
Unnamed Waterfall 2.78 mi / 4.46 km
Eldridge Falls 2.79 mi / 4.46 km

 

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Photo of Twin Falls Photo of Twin Falls

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Photography tips


Twin Falls is difficult to photograph due to the twisting nature of the canyons. The more voluminous of the two branches can only be photographed from mid-stream or by climbing out onto a precarious perch atop a large mossy (slick) log at the base of the largest drop. The southern of the two segments is easier to see from the streambed (partially visible from the road) but will still require maneuvering around boulders and walking in the creek. The falls face east and are best lit in the late afternoon.

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User comments


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