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Moran State Park - Cascade Falls

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- San Juan Islands
View map below

Length

3.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 200 ft.
Highest Point: 690 ft.

Rating

4.25 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2020
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
Check the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau travel advisory for the latest COVID updates
 
 

Enjoy 40 feet of the tallest waterfall in the San Juans during a visit to Moran State Park. Cascade Creek flows through not just Cascade Falls, but a few other falls as well as it pours into a ravine on its way to the ocean. This trail also features towering trees, many other waterfalls, and connects to other trails in the park.

There are many different ways to reach Cascade Falls. The easiest is to start from a parking lot off of Mount Constitution Road. This access point provides the least mileage, with just half a mile out and back. From the trailhead, signs direct you to the left on the hiker-only trail (right is the bicycle trail) where you can connect to Cascade Falls, Rustic Falls, Cavern Falls, and Hidden Falls. There is also a service road to the far left that takes you to a few other trails, but does not connect to the falls.

After just .1 mile, reach another sign. This one will tell you that Rustic Falls is straight ahead, and you can see it from the trail. Cascade Falls is to the right, and Cavern and Hidden Falls are to the left. Continue right and follow Cascade Creek until you reach the top of the falls. You can carefully peer over the edge and see the falls from above.

Descend to the side and there is access to two viewpoints. The upper viewpoint is great for viewing, but tree branches and shadows might make photos somewhat difficult. The lower viewpoint trail crosses the creek on a bridge relatively far from the base of the falls. Cross the bridge and you can carefully make your way along the side of the ravine to get a closer look.

Another option for making this a longer hike is to start from the Cascade Lake trail. With this option, start from the Cascade Lake day-use area across the street from the beach and to the right of the restrooms. The trail climbs up and follows the Cascade Lake trail through old growth. Cross a service road, where there is a sign for Cascade Falls 1.1 miles ahead. Pass a junction where the lake trail veers right and continue left for the falls. Pass by a camp and picnic area where there are restrooms available. Finally, cross Mt. Constitution Road and reach the parking area where you can follow the directions above.

Yet another option is to start from the South Camp day-use parking lot. Follow the Cascade Lake trail to the right across Mount Constitution road. Shortly after the road, there are some interwoven fallen trees above the trail that are interesting to look at as you pass under them. Then, the trail to the falls branches off to the right, and you can follow the aforementioned directions.

 

Moran State Park - Cascade Falls

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.6480, -122.8460 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- San Juan Islands

Washington State Parks

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

USGS Mount Constitution

state park map online

Getting There

Take the Orcas Island ferry from Anacortes, WA. For .2 miles, go north on Gibbs Road and turn right onto Orcas Road. Drive for 7.3 miles to Main St. and turn right. Drive through Eastsound for 1.2 miles and turn right onto Olga Road. Drive 3.5 miles, through the entrance to Moran State Park. If you need a discover pass, turn right into the information center just before you enter the gate. The South End Campground is off the road to the right. If you are looking to park at the trailhead, continue down Olga Road and turn left onto Mt. Constitution Road. The parking lot will be off to the right.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
Check the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau travel advisory for the latest COVID updates
 

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Moran State Park - Cascade Falls

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