“This is an easy, nature trail loop through lush forests with a few waterfalls, old growth, and history.”
— Karl W
River/Creek · Waterfall
Very easy roadside trail with beautiful falls and some history.
This is a perfect hike along Highway 2 to stretch out your legs on your way to or from a bigger hike. The trail is very smooth, easy singletrack through a lush old-growth forest. You'll get great views of Tye River from a few spurs that lead to overlooks. You'll also get to see a small falls, nice cascades, and Deception Falls, a pleasant falls just south of Highway 2.
Need to Know
The falls, creek, and river are much more impressive during the spring snow melt.
There is a good-sized paved parking lot that doubles as a rest stop on the north side of Highway 2 about 8.0 miles east of Skykomish, and 8.0 miles west of Stevens Pass. This donation-based park has a small picnic area and four pit toilets.
This trail can be taken in either direction, but this description begins along the Barrier-Free Trail
between the toilets and picnic area, which is wheelchair accessible. Turn north onto the dirt Nature Trail Loop
and descend a few very gentle switchbacks. You'll pass through old growth and come to a small clear stream which is crossed by a bridge.
You'll then pass a nice overlook spur to Tye River. The second spur leads to a nice small waterfall that falls into a canyon that turns 90 degrees from the falls (the interpretive trail calls this a "giant's bent straw"). The third spur highlights some nice cascades and clear pools. The fourth spur is on Deception Creek
and shows some more nice cascades.
Finally, the trail will rejoin the Barrier-Free Trail
to cross Deception Creek
on a bridge. Unfortunately for those with limited mobility, the trail climbs some stone stairs before crossing under Highway 2 to a nice view point of Deception Falls. Deception Falls is more of a giant cascade than a plunging falls, but it is still lovely if you can drown out the road noise above you.
History & Background
Keep your eyes out for cuts in the ancient stumps that were used by loggers to mount spring boards while they worked on the railroad construction. A helpful sign will point them out to you.