Name of Waterfall

Deadhorse Falls


Deadhorse Creek drains the basin between Cougar and Skyline Divides on the north side of Mount Baker and as the creek does not have a source in permanent ice melt or the outlet of a lake, the erosive power of the stream isn't nearly as great as neighboring drainages. As the creek encountered the valley of the North Fork of the Nooksack River it was left hanging well above the floor and as a result carved a very deep, exceptionally narrow canyon as it plunged down to the valley. At the head of the canyon lies this waterfall, a lofty but very difficult to see and truly appreciate waterfall of nearly 400 feet in all.
The falls begin where the creek is split around a chock stone boulder wedged in the 5-10 foot wide entrance to the canyon, plunging just over 260 feet in an exceptionally narrow slot. Because the canyon is so narrow at this point it is difficult to identify the exact makeup of the falls, but it appears there may be two drops rather than just one in this part of the falls. Exiting the narrowest part of the canyon the creek jumps down a second nearly vertical fall of 46-feet, followed by a run of cascades, and then terminating in a three-segmented fall of 27-feet - the remaining difference in height being made up in boulder covered cascades between the three tiers.
The biggest detractor for Deadhorse Falls is that it is very difficult to get close to. Multiple fords of the creek are necessary to even see the falls, and when it becomes swollen with snowmelt in the late spring and early summer, these fords become hazardous, if not outright dangerous. Even at low water, numerous logjams and large boulders must be scaled in order to reach the base of the falls. Unfortunately, our second survey of the falls proved that it is not possible to scramble past the lowest tier of the falls due to sheer cliffs blocking the route (though thoroughly experienced rock climbers may potentially be able to proceed further, but the rock is quite wet in this area, and this is not advised at all).

Other Names




IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Tallest Drop


Number of Drops


Average Width


Maximum Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

50 cfs (7 months)

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

20 cfs (5 months)


85 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream

Nooksack River Deadhorse Creek