Name of Waterfall

Rock Creek Falls


Rock Creek Falls is viewed from the Rock Creek Trail, which can be accessed either from the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River trail, or from the Snow Lake Trail starting from Snoqualmie Pass. The approach from the Middle Fork is shorter, but usually requires a high clearance vehicle to reach the trailhead. The approach from Snoqualmie Pass is accessible to all vehicles, but involves a longer hike and more elevation change.
From the Middle Fork side, drive to the Dingford Creek Trailhead at the end of the Mdidle Fork Snoqualmie Road (Forest Road 56), the last 5 miles of which usually require high clearance due to frequent washouts, water bars, and enormous potholes. Hike the Dingford Creek Trail downstream for one-quarter of a mile from the parking area and cross the Middle Fork on a bridge, then bear left at the first fork and continue east towards Goldmyer Hot Springs along the Middle Fork Trail for another 2-1/2 miles to the junction with the Rock Creek Trail. Take the Rock Creek trail, which climbs moderately, for an additional 1.3 miles to where it makes a sharp switchback adjacent to a large rock slide area. The best views of the falls are had from the rock slide, a few feet off the trail.
From the Snoqualmie Pass side, start at the Snow Lake Trailhead adjacent to the Alpental Ski area. Hike the Snow Lake Trail for 3.3 miles to the signed junction with the Rock Creek Trail (before crossing the outlet of Snow Lake), then follow the Rock Creek Trail downhill until the falls come into view. The best views of the falls will be had around 2 miles from the junction.Rock Creek Falls is one of the tallest and most significant waterfalls in Washington State's Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The falls occur as its namesake Creek pours out of Snow Lake, itself one of the largest lakes in the region, and cascades for nearly 1,200 feet down the huge glacially carved headwall in the valley below. The exact position of the top of the falls has yet to be determined, but the upper fourth or so of the falls consist of a section of cascades which drop down a narrow trough immediately below the outlet of Snow Lake. After casading for approximately 300 vertical feet, the falls reaches a huge cliff in the headwall, and makes two enormous leaps, totalling an additional 750 feet in height. The upper section begins as a narrow column of water set in a recess which then veils outward and stairsteps as it interacts with the rugged cliff face. The lower section sees the stream spreading out into multiple parallel channels, several of which then merge back together in another narrow crevice, with one or two others splitting off and sliding down a smooth exposure of cliff in an off-shoot that creates a bit of an inverted Y shape.
Due to the way the upper cascades are incised into the mountain, and the surrounding foliage, the upper 300 feet of the falls are more difficult to view. The most encompassing views of the entire falls are unfortunately rather distant from the falls - about one-third of a mile away from the base of the falls. Getting closer to the bottom of the falls would not only result in the majority of the falls being obscured from view, but would also involve potentially extreme difficulty due to the thick brush in the valley below the falls. Because of the distance at which the falls are viewed, obtaining an accurate measurement of the falls is not likely to be possible.
Rock Creek is a moderate size stream which originates in Snow Lake, just upstream from the top of the falls. The drainage basin above the falls covers an area of about 1.6 square miles, and rises to elevations over 6,200 feet on Chair and Kaleetan Peaks. Though Snow Lake is far and away the largest source of water in the basin, there are four other lakes which also contribute to the flow of the stream. The high elevation of the basin, and its position close to the Cascade Crest also ensures heavy winter snow pack which typically lasts well into the summer months. This all ensures that the falls flow strongly into the summer, and on average are not considerably reduced in volume until mid to late August. By September however, the volume of the creek is typically reduced enough that the distant views of the falls available will make it hard to appreciate the true scale of the falls. The creek is not expected to run dry at any time however.

Other Names




IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Average Width


Maximum Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

15 cfs (8 months)

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

3 cfs (4 months)


65 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream

Snohomish River Rock Creek