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Upper Dalles Creek Falls
   Pierce 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 Upper Dalles Creek Falls If you, like I did, attempt to follow the directions of "A Waterfall Lover's Guide to the Pacific Northwest" to find the upper falls on Dalles Creek, you're likely to be disappointed. The book, first of all, calls Dalles Falls a two-tiered waterfall, which is wrong, because the two falls it's referring to are on different streams. After that fact, the falls the book cites as the upper falls isn't even the real upper falls. It's a small, unnamed ephemeral tributary of Dalles Creek, which drops maybe 100 feet total, over a pretty mossy cliff, which is, unfortunately, covered with logs and trees, so little of the falls can be appreciated (though even if it were completely visible, it's not of enough significance for mention in the database). The true Upper Dalles Creek Falls lies another 1/2 mile up the trail. While I know I didn't hike the full 2 miles which the trail sign stated was necessary, I had assumed that the tributary stream was the upper falls because of what I read in the book. Just to be sure, I went to the second bridge over Dalles Creek, where I noticed a waterfall about 500 feet upstream. This turned out to be a pretty 30 foot plunge which proved me and the book wrong. On a repeat visit, just to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything, I hiked well past the bridge and couldn't see anything else on Dalles Creek as notable as this drop. Because Dalles Creek has a small watershed, the falls become less impressive in the summer, and deserve a lower rating accordingly.

HISTORY AND NAMES


  • Upper Dalles Creek Falls is the Official name of this waterfall

The name of the falls, obviously derived from the stream, is recognized by the Forest Service, as seen on the trail signs.

Location and directions


Located north of Mt. Rainier National Park, along the Mather Memorial Parkway (Highway 410). From the town of Greenwater, proceed south towards Mt. Rainier, for about 9.8 miles, to a wide turnout on the left side of the road, just after crossing Dalles Creek, and about 1/3 of a mile south of the Skookum Falls viewpoint. Palisades Trail # 1198 starts here, and climbs 1/5 of a mile to a junction with the White River Trail. Stay straight, following the signs for the falls, and in another mile, Lower Dalles Creek Falls are encountered, at the end of a short spur trail. Keep along the main trail, constantly switching back up the gorge. The unnamed ephemeral waterfall is encountered about 1/3 of a mile beyond the Lower Falls. Here, the trail climbs a neat staircase, etched into a fallen log, as it climbs more or less parallel with the small waterfall. Once at the top, continue another 1/2 mile to the Upper Falls. Not having gone in the full two miles, I can't say what the condition of any viewpoint may be. The bottom part of the falls can be accessed by hiking 500 feet upstream from the second bridge over Dalles Creek.

Upper Dalles 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 Dalles Creek Falls 0.15 mi / 0.23 km
Snoquera Falls 0.73 mi / 1.17 km
Skookum Falls 0.81 mi / 1.3 km
Doe Falls 3.02 mi / 4.83 km
Goat Falls 4.39 mi / 7.02 km
Unnamed Waterfall 4.62 mi / 7.4 km
Unnamed Waterfall 4.65 mi / 7.44 km

 

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Photo of Upper Dalles Creek Falls Photo of Upper Dalles Creek Falls

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Photography tips


Though a couple logs have decided to take up residence right in front of the falls, this is still a very scenic waterfall. The forest around the falls is not terribly thick, so the sun will filter through, but when clouds obstruct direct light, the trees render the scene rather dark.

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