Name of Waterfall

Cougar Falls


Nickel Creek spends the final portion of its life coursing through a series of narrow gorges. Cougar Falls marks the beginning of the final gorge, before the creek merges with the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz, in Box Canyon. There are several small waterfalls along Nickel Creek in the last mile of its existence, Cougar Falls is the only major waterfall which I know of. Here, the creek pours out of a shallow trench, carved into solid granite, and plunges a sheer 102 feet into a deep canyon below. Though the falls are no more than 100 yards from the Nickel Creek bridge, few people ever visit because both the falls aren't marked, and aren't obvious from upstream. Though the falls are very pretty, and rather impressive, I recommend only those who aren't uneasy with off-trail scrambling, particularly around steep canyons, visit this waterfall. On my last visit to this area, I also found a nice 25 foot waterfall about 1/3 of a mile upstream of the Highway, but I couldn't find any good vantages for pictures.

Other Names




IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Tallest Drop


Number of Drops


Average Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

75 cfs

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

0 cfs


90 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream

Cowlitz River Nickel Creek