Boulder Glacier Falls

RATING - 38.0

VR - 4.0 (M/S) HR - 7.0 SR - 10/20


DIFFICULTY - Difficult

LOCATION - Baker Lake Road

TYPE - Tiered

HEIGHT - 370'

WIDTH - 80'

GPS - N48 45.429 W121 45.776


DIRECTIONS - Drive out Baker Lake Road to the Boulder Creek Bridge (tough to miss) and take an immediate left onto FR 1130. In about 1.5 miles, take the left hand fork at the Y. Follow this road to its end at the Boulder Ridge Trail. Hike the trail for about 3 miles until it ends up on a small ridge overlooking the barren wasteland of the Boulder Creek headwaters.

One of the best hikes in the Mt. Baker area is the Boulder Ridge Trail. The view from the end of the trail is nothing short of astounding. Mt. Baker looms massively above an alien landscape of red, volcanic rock, sparse trees, and waterfalls as far as the eye can see. To get to the end requires some patience and a lot of work on the part of the hiker. The trail spends the first two miles traveling through a nice forest with gradual ups and downs along the way. It's nice, but there are no views to speak of. After passing through a meadow, the trail beings to climb very steeply and spends the next mile and a half gaining the top of the moraine left over by the retreating Boulder Glacier. It's worth all the trouble once you arrive at the end, but it's definitely a little more work than some of the more popular trails in the area.

Boulder Glacier Falls is one of the many waterfalls at the headwaters of Boulder Creek that can be viewed from the end of the Boulder Ridge Trail. Boulder Glacier Falls begins with a pair of 45' tall plunging drops. Only the left of these two plunges can be seen from the trail. The creek then cascades for 143' vertically before encountering another ledge and horsetailing for 182' in side-by-side drops. The entire waterfall totals 370' in height. Unfortunately for Boulder Glacier Falls, this nearly 400' tall drop is only good enough to be the third tallest in the immediate area. The waterfall is prominent enough that it can be viewed from the road up to Anderson/Watson Lakes Trailhead about six miles away.

Above - Beginning of Boulder Glacier Falls