Deception Falls, Deception Falls Trailhead, Seattle - Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Snoqualmie Pass - Central Cascades, Washington

Deception Falls - .8 miles

Deception Falls Trailhead

Deception Falls

Deception Falls

Round-Trip Length: .8 miles (.2 miles are ADA accessible)
Start-End Elevation: 1,750' - 1,750'
Elevation Change: 150' total roundtrip elevation gain on Nature Loop
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Deception Falls - .8 Miles Round-Trip

The Deception Falls Nature Trail leads through a cool, green oasis of old growth forest and dramatic waterfalls just off Highway 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass. The trail has two parts; the first is a .8 mile interpretive lower loop that begins at the parking area, drops to the Tye River bottom, then climbs back up to Deception Falls just across the Highway.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The second is a paved ADA-accessible trail starting from the same point that runs .2 miles to a bridge over Deception Creek, just below the falls. Easy access, interpretive signs, viewing platforms and picnic tables make this a great destination for families and hikers of all abilities:

From the parking area, find the trailhead just left of the interpretive signboards. Turn left at the junction for the hiking loop, or keep straight along the paved ADA trail.

The Loop Trail drops into moss-covered old growth along the Tye River bottom and levels on boardwalks to a log bridge across the Tye with interpretive signs detailing local forest ecology.

A short spur at .5 miles (1,675’) leads to a viewing platform overlooking a sharp 90-degree bend in the Tye River carved through solid bedrock. It rises through old growth and crosses Deception Creek back toward Highway 2.

Look for an interpretive sign at the base of a rare Western white pine, and for two enormous Western red cedars that are several hundred years old on the banks of Deception Creek.

The trail crosses a creek past the red cedars and re-joins the ADA trail just before Lower Deception Falls. The falls are accessible by a side trail at .7 miles (1,705’). Return to the main trail and cross a metal bridge on Deception Creek to see the dramatic upper Falls.

Climb stairs past the bridge to a walkway under the Highway and viewing platform directly below Deception Falls on the other side to complete the loop (.8 miles : 1,750’).

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N47 42.929  W121 11.737 — 0.0 miles : Deception Falls Trailhead
  • N47 43.034  W121 11.771 — 0.5 miles : Turn left at Loop Trail sign and drop to sharp bend
  • N47 42.963  W121 11.674 — 0.7 miles : Climb along Deception Creek to lower falls
  • N47 42.899  W121 11.664 — 0.8 miles : Cross bridge and climb to upper Deception Falls

Worth Noting

  • The upper section of Deception Falls is the last drop on Deception Creek before it meets the Tye River. The falls are frequently passed but unnoticed by drivers on heading up Highway 2 to Stevens Pass.
  • The old growth forest along the Tye River includes enormous specimens of Western red cedar, and a rare Western white pine.
  • Besides the upper Deception Falls, a 90-degree bend carved through naked rock in the Tye River at .5 miles on the hiking trail is a remarkable sight, as are the lower Deception Falls a hundred yards downstream of the upper Falls. The Falls are at their most dramatic with the spring runoff.

Fishing Information

  • Fishing is allowed with a valid WA state fishing license.

  • Contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for more information.


Email: [email protected]
Sport/Commercial Licenses: 360.902.2434
Disability Licenses: 360.902.2460

Rules and Regulations

  • Parking is usually gated between Labor Day and Memorial Day.

Directions to Trailhead

The Surprise Creek Trailhead is located near Milepost 56 on the left (north) side of Highway 2, eight miles east of Skykomish, WA.

From the town of Skykomish on Highway 2 (Stevens Pass Highway), drive 7.9 miles east and turn left into the USFS Deception Falls trail and picnic area parking lot.

The parking lot holds 30 cars and has vault toilets and picnic tables.

Contact Information

Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest | Skykomish Ranger District
74920 NE Stevens Pass Hwy | PO Box 305
Skykomish, WA 98288

Reference Deception Falls Nature Trail #1078

Trip Reports

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