Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 265 Springtime is a great time to visit Washington State Water Falls

As we enter the 5 week of Spring of 2014 the flowers are in bloom everywhere it seems and the weather is producing more blue skies and warmer temps consistently. Which puts most people in a happier mood.

Temperatures in the lowlands are staying above 40 degrees and the temperatures in the mountains are getting warmer as well. This means the snow and ice that fell and accumulated since last October is beginning to thaw and looking for a way to the ocean. 
Now is the best time to go out and see waterfalls running at full levels. The April Spring Showers combined with ice and snow melt add dramatic volumes of water rushing down the sides of mountains and cascading over the edges of waterfalls. 
Though some trails still may have residual snow and may be muddy they are worth the hike. During the summer months when forest floors and trails are dry there is upwards of 60% less water moving down the mountain causing larger falls to run at low levels and many smaller waterfalls disappear as their water sources dry up. 

Here is a list of waterfalls inside Washington State Parks that are worth a hike:

Palouse Region Palouse Falls - Eastern Washington
The Palouse Falls is tucked away in the Eastern part of Washington State. After a very windy drive, including a few miles on dirt roads, you can find this amazing location. The falls consists of an upper falls with a drop of ~20 feet (6.1 m) which lies 1,000 feet (300 m) north northwest of the main drop, and a lower falls, with a drop of ~180 feet (55 m).

Wallace Falls State ParkWallace Falls - Gold Bar, WA
Cascade FallsWallace Falls, named after homesteaders Joe and Sarah Kwayaylsh members of the Skykomish tribe, is a 4,735 acre forest land on the western slope of the North Cascade Mountain range in Snohomish County. The park has three back country lakes, Jay Lake, Shaw Lake and Wallace Lake which are connected via the Wallace River. The river trickles, snakes, gurgles and plunges its way through the park until the valley basin. 

Cascade Falls - Orcas Island, WA
At about 40 feet tall, Cascade Falls is the largest waterfall in the San Juan Islands. Cascade Creek squiggles down a flume, dropping through a jumble of logs and branches before it veils out over a broad bulbous face into a small grotto lined with several old growth cedar trees. 

Rustic Falls, Cascade Creek, Moran State Park Rustic Falls - Orcas Island, WA 
Rustic Falls is part of Cascade Creek, which runs between Mountain Lake and Cascade Lake in Moran State Park. The 0.8 mile walk from the trail head is located on the east side of Cascade Lake in Moran State Park Orcas Island


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