Sunday Afternoon Waterfall Adventures Along the Cascade Loop
August is typically a warm month in the Pacific Northwest. The rain disperses for weeks at a time, and people actively seek ways to cool off. Along the Cascade Loop, you can’t miss the water. There are gorgeous blue and…Continue reading this story.
August is typically a warm month in the Pacific Northwest. The rain disperses for weeks at a time, and people actively seek ways to cool off. Along the Cascade Loop, you can’t miss the water. There are gorgeous blue and green rivers flowing wild and boundless. But I like the adventure of finding water – specifically waterfalls – where I must venture off the road. Each Sunday afternoon, my husband and I have a standing date to go explore some of the many waterfalls in Snohomish County along the Cascade Loop.
Knowing where we are going determines our clothing; mountain regions are very cool even in summer. We also wear sturdy shoes, as wet rocks are quite slippery. As we head out for the day’s adventure, we also try to find a deli near our destination to pick up some local food to enjoy at our picnic destination.
Recently, on a very hot day, we drove to the far reaches of eastern Snohomish County on Hwy 2, enjoying the gorgeous views of the Skykomish/Snohomish River Valley. From my hometown of Snohomish on the other end of the county, I can see the tips of Mount Baring and Mount Index, so it was great to see these beautiful mountains up close as we skirted the Skykomish River. We made a quick detour into the town of Skykomish to grab our lunch and delicious huckleberry ice cream at Sky Deli, which is right off the highway. (Yes, we started with dessert first, as we took in the beautiful river views of Skykomish!)
We then turned around and made our way back west to Eagle Falls, just over two miles past the town of Baring (the parking turnout on the left is not marked). Shaded by tall cliffs, this was a great destination for cooling off. We encountered the falls just off the road; they are about 25 feet tall, but were impressive with the volume of whitewater pouring over the gigantic, river-carved rocks. At the base of the falls is a deep green pool that beckons visitors to take a refreshing dip. While we stayed dry on top of massive slab of granite, other visitors were jumping in. A word of caution if you go: the waters are glacial and don’t receive much sunlight, making it a very cold swim.
After soaking up the view, we headed to Bridal Veil Falls. We continued west on Hwy 2 for about four more miles. Just past the turn into Index and the bridge over the Skykomish, we turned left onto Mt. Index Road. We followed the road to the right and made our way to the trailhead (note: Northwest Forest Pass is required). For a Sunday afternoon, we were lucky to find parking in the lot; this is a popular waterfall. From the trailhead, we followed the trail through a serene wooded area. We drank in the smells of the forest, as trees mixed with small streams to create a stress-cleansing aroma. About 1.5 miles in, there is a fork in the trail; we stayed to the right to make our way to the falls. The climb includes stairs and switchbacks, which made for a steep finale to the top, but opened up into the incredible view of Bridal Veil Falls. The reward of such a journey on a hot day is that we were cooled by the misty air from the thundering water pouring over the 100-foot drop. After eating our lunch and enjoying the coolness, we continued on for another half mile to the second tier of the falls and incredible mountain views. I find myself incredibly short on words to describe the beauty of this waterfall and surrounding area. You simply need to see it yourself.
My husband and I love our Sunday afternoon adventures. It’s a great way to stay active, escape the heat, and enjoy this beautiful place we call home!See Less
Written by Joni Kirk On 28th June 2016
As you head down the west slope of the Cascade Mountains on Highway 2, imagine early settlers moving in the area. Towns in th...