In the city of Tumwater, Washington (south of Olympia), you’ll find Tumwater Falls. It’s kind of the quintessential downtown waterfall complete with a park. It’s not particularly wide or tall, though it is unique in its shape. Unlike some of the other Washington waterfalls, I don’t know if I’d go far out of my way to see Tumwater Falls, but if you’re in the area, I’d stop for a bit.
When I visited with my nephew two years ago, we almost didn’t show up at the right time. I just assumed you could visit the park anytime, but that’s not exactly correct. There are gates that close the park by 8 pm. I tried to park in one area, only to find out it was blocked earlier than 8 pm. I then parked on a main road and walked into the park since the exit to the park wasn’t closed yet. (If it sounds complicated, it kind of was for visiting a small waterfall.) I think we had about 15 minutes, and that was more than enough time to see the falls and explore a bit. As you explore, you’ll notice the falls have a few different drops, though it’s hard to capture all of them in the same photograph. I’ve decided to just include the most interesting/closest drop.
- This is in the heart of Tumwater, so it might be easier to set your GPS to go directly to the park. If you’re headed north on I-5, exit 103 will lead you directly to Deschutes Way SW (if you continue forward instead of veering right).
- On Deschutes Way SW, you can either turn on C Street SW, where you’ll find a parking area to your left (which closed early), or you can park on Deschutes Way SW, which is what I did.
- From there, explore the park.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: negligible
Where in the World is Tumwater Falls?