Right at the gateway to one of the best drives in Washington State sits Granite Falls, a quaint little town. The Mountain Loop Highway connects this historically rich town to yet another even smaller town just as full of mining, logging and Native American history. Not to mention the many hidden treasures along the way. As this blog progresses we will have documented every journey worth having along this incredible highway accompanied by its fascinating history.
Today, I snagged the very first roadside attraction on the Mountain Loop Highway just to deliver you a taste of what to expect further up the road. Granite Falls (the town’s namesake) sits in a deep gorge just outside of town on the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River. You park right off the highway and follow some steps down to a trail that switchbacks down maybe an eighth of a mile to river level. There you’ll find an extensive fish ladder you can walk over and view through the grating. Not for the faint of heart as the sound from the Falls is deafening and you feel like you’re barely being held from a plunging fall into the wild waters of the Stilly. In reality, you’re perfectly safe as long as you keep behind the railings.
Now that you’ve decided that you’re probably going to survive walking the intimidating fish ladder walk you’ll look up to see a gorgeous mountain side with a nearly vertical rock face towering over the gushing Granite Falls. The falls itself is impressive, but not your typical waterfall find. It has more of a gentle cascade, yet gentle is not an appropriate description of its fierceness. She’s loud and mighty as she claims her path that she carved in stone.
On my way back up the trail to the car I found some magical seasonal waterfalls spilling over the rock walls. If the ground wasn’t so wet I would have just sat and basked in their serenity. Instead I took some videos so I can return to that spot anytime I like. Below are two videos of the area. Welcome to Granite Falls and the Mountain Loop Highway!