Explorer Falls

North Cascades, Washington

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Explorer Falls


  • The hike begins where the pavement ends on Monroe Camp Road. - Explorer Falls
  • The walk is about a mile on the gravel portion of the road used for logging.- Explorer Falls
  • The gravel logging road leads to the trail to Explorer Falls.- Explorer Falls
  • Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea).- Explorer Falls
  • The forest to either side of the road is owned by the City of Everett, and access is restricted to protect the watershed.- Explorer Falls
  • Watch for this trail leaving the road after approximately a mile from the gate.- Explorer Falls
  • An overnight area near the falls. Unfortunately, litter and trash can be substantial in the area.- Explorer Falls
  • The small creek is barely discernable in the summer months.- Explorer Falls
  • You'll hear Explorer Falls before you see them.- Explorer Falls
  • The small pool at the base of the falls.- Explorer Falls
  • The "Hobbit Hole" is a small cave located just behind the falls.- Explorer Falls
  • Explorer Falls is a classic horsetail falls measuring approximately 50 feet.- Explorer Falls
  • - Explorer Falls
Overview + Weather
Easy walk. Beautiful falls.
Some litter. Access is on a logging road.
North Cascades, WA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
300.00 ft (91.44 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
608.00 ft (185.32 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


The short hike to Explorer Falls begins where the pavement ends on Monroe Camp Road. Park at the gate, and ignore any temptation to drive farther if the gate is open. The area is actively logged, and the gate is opened and closed without warning, so be sure not to get your vehicle locked in. Along the side of the road you'll see the dense alder, fir, and hemlock forest that helps to protect this crucial watershed; the City of Everett owns and protects the land as part of its water supply, so access into these woods is prohibited.

Approximately 1 mile from the gate and just past a creek crossing, look for the trail that leaves the road for the falls. You'll soon see the 50-foot falls ahead, cutting a classic horsetail shape as it slides down the rock face. To the right of the falls you'll notice the small cave known as the "Hobbit Hole." Trails to the top of the falls can also be found. As with all waterfalls, the best time of year to visit is when the flows benefit from snowmelt and/or rainfall. Late spring and early summer can be ideal times for waterfall exploration.

The short walk to Explorer Falls is a great choice for young kids or tight schedules because the access is easy and the payoff is beautiful. Unfortunately, the area around Explorer Falls occasionally gets trashed. If you are planning a trip, consider bringing a garbage bag and hauling out some litter to leave the place a little cleaner for the next visitors.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(60 within a 30 mile radius)

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