Name of Waterfall

Deer Creek Falls


Deer Creek Falls is accessed from the Owyhigh Lakes Trail just off Highway 123 near Cayuse Pass in Mount Rainier National Park. The trailhead is found about 6 1/2 miles south of the pass, where the well graded path winds moderately down two switchbacks to viewpoints overlooking the falls.Deer Creek Falls is a steep two-stepped cascade of 62 feet in height encountered as one hikes west from the Owyhigh Lakes Trailhead along Highway 123 in Mount Rainier National Park. As the trail passes the falls several viewpoints provide vistas looking down on the falls and gorge which give the illusion that the falls are both taller and more vertical than reality (we had previously thought the falls to be closer to 80 feet tall). Recently several trees have fallen where the trail first approaches the falls which now provides a view downstream over the falls and reveals its true slope and gives a better idea of the actual height of the falls.
While Deer Creek isn't a large drainage, thanks to the heavy snow pack which Mount Rainier receives annually the falls transform into a powerful cataract during the spring melt season. By the end of summer and the autumn months however the falls will revert to a much more placid, but infinitely more scenic string-like cascade. A significant upper tier appears to be situated a few hundred feet upstream, but we have not yet been able to survey it.

Other Names




IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Tallest Drop


Number of Drops


Average Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

45 cfs

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

0 cfs


75 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream

Cowlitz River Deer Creek