Top 20 Washington State Trips

Whatcom Falls Park

Whatcom Falls

Visit stunning Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham.

Picturesque Whatcom Falls Park is 2 hours north of Seattle, in the charming coastal town of Bellingham, and is perfect in all seasons.

This 241-acre city park is an enchanting, fern-laden wonderland, and has a playground, picnic shelter, and well maintained set of trails. However, there are no supervised swimming areas at Whatcom Falls Park.

Stroll along the Whatcom Creek Trail (0.5 miles) to see four sets of cascades along the creek, including spectacular Whatcom Falls and Whirlpool Falls.

Here's a useful map of the Whatcom Falls Park with trails, including all the off-leash dog areas.

5 best things to do at Whatcom Falls Park

1. Start at the day use area at the end of Silverbeach Road.

The easiest access to Whatcom Falls is from the parking lot at the end of Silverbeach Road, before you reach the Bellingham Hatchery.  A picnic shelter, playground and restrooms are also visible at this entrance. There's a lovely lawned area to relax and run around.

2. Walk out along the majestic Stone Bridge to see Whatcom Falls.

The historic Stone Bridge overlooking Whatcom Falls is conveniently located just steps from the parking lot at the end of Silverbeach Road. It's pretty awesome that you only have to walk about 100-feet from the parking lot to see these beautiful falls!  

The bridge was constructed at Whatcom Falls Park using sandstone from a condemned downtown Bellingham building, and was constructed in 1939 as part of a WPA project. Whatcom Falls is 10-feet high and is best viewed from the bridge.

3. Turn left after crossing the Stone Bridge to walk along the Whatcom Creek Trail.

The Whatcom Creek Trail (0.5 miles) meanders along the north side of Whatcom Creek, traveling from the Stone Bridge to St Clair Park. See map.

4. See other, smaller cascades along the Whatcom Creek Trail.

Swimming is popular along Whatcom Creek, but there are no lifeguards on duty at any of the swimming holes, so proceed at your own risk.

5. The trail then passes Whirlpool Falls, that plunges 30-feet down to a waterhole.

Whirlpool Falls is about 0.3 miles down the trail from Whatcom Falls, and can also be accessed directly off Arbor Street.

The water cascades down a dramatic chute at Whirlpool Falls!

There are signs warning that cliff jumping or diving might lead to serious injury, due to large rocks, slippery surfaces, and shallow water. There have been several traumatic injuries here, and even deaths. However, this remains an incredibly popular swimming hole in summer at Whatcom Falls Park.

This is the perspective from the top of the chute. 

Continue past Whirpool Falls to St Clair Park, where there's a playground, restrooms and picnic tables.

Other fun things to do in Bellingham

After visiting Whatcom Falls Park, explore other attractions in Bellingham, including the Fairhaven Historic District, Chuckanut Bay Gallery, Chuckanut Drive and Boulevard Park.  Bellingham has a wide choice of waterfront lodging for an overnight stay.

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