Granite Falls Fish Ladder

North Cascades, Washington

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Granite Falls Fish Ladder


  • A short trail leads to Granite Falls Fish Ladder.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • Salmonberries (Rubus spectabilis) flank the trail in the summer.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • Granite Falls is on the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • The falls are at the base of an enormous cliff face.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • Some of the infrastructure required to build the platforms on this powerful section of river.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • Grated walkways allow for some incredible perspectives on the falls.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • Stairs leading down to the viewing area.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • Granite Falls Fish Ladder on the South Fork of the Stillaguamish.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • Granite Falls is a series of drops that frequently floods in the spring.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • The enormous cliff that looms above Granite Falls.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • The section of rock in the foreground has been scoured smooth by the higher spring flows.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • At lower flows you can get a great perspective on the the effect the currents have had on these boulders over the years.- Granite Falls Fish Ladder
  • - Granite Falls Fish Ladder
Overview + Weather
Powerful falls. Easy access. Impressive during spring flows. Near to other adventures.
Heavily modified landscape. Not ADA-accessible.
North Cascades, WA
Pets allowed: 
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


If you are in the area to visit Heather Lake or Triple Creek Falls, you won't regret a quick stop at Granite Falls Fish Ladder. The fish ladder that runs along the edge of the river doubles as a viewing platform. From here you can appreciate the incredible power these falls have generated over the years. Spring flows through this narrow section of river are thunderous, and the falls become a turbulent stretch of thrashing whitewater. If you visit at lower flows you'll see the evidence of this power in the riverbed's smooth and sculpted granite.

Incredibly, a 240-foot tunnel was blasted out of the granite to allow the fish to access the fish ladder. Built in 1954, the Washington Department of Fisheries constructed what was at the time the world's longest vertical baffled fish ladder (580 feet) to provide salmon with an opportunity to reach the 30 miles of river above the falls.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(41 within a 30 mile radius)

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