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Deception Falls Interpretive Trail

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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Deception Falls Interpretive Trail

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  • A short ADA-accessible trail to a bridge that spans the Upper Falls.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • The loop trail leads through a beautiful old-growth forest.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • The well-maintained trail includes log stairs.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • Rock steps on the Deception Falls Trail.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • The trail includes a log bridge with handrails to cross over Deception Creek.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • There are interpretive signs throughout trail.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • Deception creek.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • Deception Creek. - Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • Deception Falls dumps into deep green pool.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • ADA-accessible bridge.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • Deception creek.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • Stair access under Stevens Pass to view the upper falls.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • View of the lower falls from the Loop Trail.- Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
  • - Deception Falls Interpretive Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Waterfalls. Old-growth forest. Well-maintained trail. Easy to access.
Cons: 
Big crowds. Mud/rock slide.
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Region:
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
140.00 ft (42.67 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,800.00 ft (548.64 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

This short interpretive trail makes for the prefect stop if you need to stretch your legs or want a quick nature fix. Near Stevens Pass, the entrance to Deception Falls is on the north side of the highway, and you will find a sheltered area, picnic tables, vault toilets, and a map at the message board.  

From the parking lot you can access the 0.2-mile ADA-accessible trail over the bridge that showcases the upper falls. The power of this multi-tiered waterfall is pretty impressive from this point. For those of you that wish to explore further, you will notice a fork in the Deception Creek Trail that allows you to venture on the loop trail that brings you through a forest of old-growth firs. This trail is well maintained with several bridges and stairs made from rocks, logs, and stone. As you explore the short walk through the woods, you will come across interpretive signs describing the ecology of the area as well as the whitewater.  

Though this trail is less than a mile long and lacks mountain views, it remains an interesting and beautiful stop that changes extensively throughout the year. The loop trail may be impassible when water levels are too high, and the power of the falls may be more dramatic if you can catch them in the winter and spring. The abrupt, 90-degree turn that Deception Creek makes before it meets the Tye River remains impressive year-round, however.  Marvel at the power of the water crashing while you take a few minutes at the landing spot that is situated right above the river.  

Be sure to make use of the picnic area that has shelter and grills for your convenience. From here you can walk along the edge of the parking lot to the base of Highway 2 to access a bridge that crosses over lower falls with a great perspective of upper falls.  From this bridge, you can feel the incredible power and volume of the water traveling under the highway.

The picnic area is also used as a meeting spot for guided tours throughout the summer months. If you or your family wish to learn more about this area and the Wilderness Act, join a ranger on these short, educational walks.  They are suitable for all ages, and reservations are not required. Contact the Skykomish Ranger District at 360.677.2414 for details.

Deception Falls is busiest during the summer months, though it is a must-see during the spring when the flow from spring runoff will leave you speechless.

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