Commuting back between Lynnwood and Leavenworth this summer was not easy, but I loved being able to see waterfalls while driving along US 2 and hiking to them when I had the time. The first falls you encounter on your way east is Wallace Falls - a stunning waterfall that has already been given its own post.
Though you'll get much better views if you take the 5.5 mile hike, you can still get a pretty decent view from US 2 if you know where you look.
About 8 miles later you'll see Bridal Veil Falls. The shot above shows the falls tumbling down Mt Index in multiple strands. It was taken from US 2, and I actually prefer the view from here to the view from the hike since you can see all the different threads of water. I wouldn't advise looking for it when you're traveling east since you can only see it in your rearview mirror or by looking directly behind you. But this view is very easily seen when you're traveling west.
It's about 4.5 miles roundtrip to hike to the falls, and there were several pretty views of the valley before I got there.
In this pic you can see US 2 on the far left.
The falls were beautiful when I made it there, and I was surprised that my "Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest" book only gave them a 2 out of 5 star rating.
It's easily understood why it's called "bridal veil" by the pretty way the water drops off the mountain. The pool created by the falls isn't particularly deep and technically you could cross it if you were willing to get your feet wet, but I wouldn't advise it. There's another trail that will take you up to Lake Serene - the lake that feeds the falls, but I didn't have time for an additional 3 miles.
It was cool to get this up close and personal to the waterfall, but I was dissapointed at only being able to see two threads. I prefered the view from the highway.
The next falls along the highway is called Alpine Falls.
Unfortunately the viewpoint only takes you to the top of the falls, which isn't terribly picturesque. But you could at least see from here how powerful the waterfall was crashing.
I scrambled down the hill to try and get a better shot.
But this was the best I could do since I wasn't willing to go out into the water and get my shoes soaking wet.
The next waterfall, Deception Falls, has its own little park to walk through. Again I was floored that my book only gave it a 2 star rating. It was powerful and beautiful. This is the upper viewpoint of the falls.
And this is a shot of lower falls taken from the bridge above.
This shot of lower falls is taken from a bit further back.
We tried taking the trail around the falls, but we weren't up to crossing these wet rocks when the water was flowing so rapidly.
We even tried going around the loop in the other direction, but the entire trail was soaked!
We came back a few weeks later to finish the hike.
The water was still strong, but not quite as intense as it was earlier.
We liked this funky tree stump.
There were several moderate falls and rapids to see as we hiked around.
This is an area where you can see that the river actually changed its course in response to a landslide.
The next viewpoint held a fairly decent and powerful cascade, but it was difficult to get a great picture.
We ended up braving the wet rocks this time since the water wasn't nearly as intense Our shoes still got soaked, but at least we didn't have to hike all the way back around the way we'd come.
I like this cute pic of me with lower falls in the background.
And the last falls you see (if you're looking for it) before entering Leavenworth is Drury Falls. It's quite a waterfall, but since the view is very distant, I actually understood why it only has a two star rating. It's all the way up the mountain about 6 miles north of Leavenworth and is extremely easy to miss if you're not trying to find it. This was the best shot we could get from the highway.
My frind Gary, however, was able to get a fantastic shot of it with his camera. It's much less blurry than ours even though it's zoomed in much further. One of these days we'll get a fancy camera that can take shots like this one!