Visit Nooksack Falls

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Added by Niki Alden

Amazing waterfall right off Mt Baker Highway. See the Nooksack River in its full glory at this tremendous 88 ft waterfall!

The View. 

Nooksack Falls is a wonder of a sight, tumbling 88 ft in two segments averaging 50 ft across.  A quick stroll from the parking area brings you to the upper or "lower" view, where you can either see the top of the waterfall cascading away from you, or see the whole waterfall. 

The waterfall is the most impressive in spring to early summer, due to the large amount of snowmelt coming from the glaciers on Mt Baker!

Nooksack Falls tumbles into a deep canyon. A view of the falls below the "lower" lookout is not possible, so please don't try. There have been several deaths there, mostly due to people trying to get a better view of the falls. 

The Directions.

Follow Mt Baker Highway (WA Rte 542 E) east from Bellingham about 40 miles. After passing the small town of Glacier, you'll take a right onto NF-33 and follow the wide gravel road down to the parking lot. Signs for "Nooksack Falls" will tell you where to turn! 

Be aware, you probably won't have cell service. 

The History. 

The Nooksack River has been of extreme importance to the Northern Cascade region for centuries. Evidence shows that Native Americans - including the Nooksack Tribe - have used the river for transportation long before European settlers arrived. When the Europeans did enter the region for exploration and logging, they too used the Nooksack for commerce. 

A hydropower facility was built in 1906, which diverted water from upstream of the falls to power the generators. The facility was shut down in 1997, long after the town of Excelsior (which housed many of the loggers) was torn down in the 1970s. Recent talk has suggested reviving the plant, though no plans have been laid out. 

Commercial and private rafters still guide the Nooksack (mostly class III), both the upper and lower sections. 

The Resources.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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