Tumwater Falls Park, Tumwater

4.7
Tumwater Falls are a series of cascades on the Deschutes River in Tumwater, Washington, United States, near where the river empties into Budd Inlet, a southerly arm of Puget Sound in Olympia.GeologyThe Deschutes River carved a course through glacial debris left after the Pleistocene ice age until it reached volcanic bedrock, forming the falls as it coursed down to Puget Sound.HistoryTumwater Falls was the site of New Market, the first European settlement in Western Washington. It was also the site of the now-defunct Olympia Brewing Company.Olympia Light and Power Company constructed a dam and a hydroelectric power plant at the falls in 1890, a decade before the Snoqualmie Falls powerplant outside Seattle. The plant powered an Olympia–Tumwater streetcar, among other things. A dam at above sea level created a head for the powerhouse and still stands on the Deschutes River.The Tumwater Falls created an impassable barrier to salmon until 1952, when a fish ladder was built by the Washington Department of Fisheries (now the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife), to provide salmon access to the newly constructed fish hatchery located immediately above the falls. Prior to the 1952 hatchery operations, the Deschutes river above the Tumwater Falls was a river system free of the influence of migrating and spawning salmon, an unusual ecological occurrence in the riparian systems of Puget Sound.
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Tumwater Falls Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
211 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Nice local park with a short, easy, hiking trail with several informative markers along the that tie both the local and natural history together. Get the full story behind the famous Olympia beer here...  more »
  • Highly recommend this place for a nice scenic walk. Beautiful waterfalls that are picture perfect. Go there!  more »
  • When we visit Tumwater, we visit the Tumwater Falls. It's beautiful and we love the walk. We also enjoy the picnic and play area.  more »
Google
  • Nice community park at the falls in Tumwater. Located between the old brewery and The Falls resturaunt. Great place to take kids and visitors because of the short and easy walking loop / trail. The lower falls and bridge offer awesome picture opportunities. First few weeks of September are usually best for viewing Salmon migrating. Restrooms are usually open at the picnic area between the upper falls and the parking lot. Please consider a thumbs-up if you found this post to be helpful.
  • First time here. It's a beautiful place! Brought the kids and the dog, and everyone had fun. The trails are easy to navigate and there aren't extreme elevation changes. Lots of great photo opportunities or chances to just sit back and take it all in.
  • Kid friendly this place is awesome for the view and beauty! Parking is free and open, most of the time the lot is not even partially full. There is a park a little further down that the kids can play on equipment and have fun running around. Bonus: Salmon spawning here and how absolutely gorgeous it is! Lot of people having photos done while we were there.
  • Nice Scenic Area Close To The Capital. About A 10 Minute Drive From Olympia. Beautifully Serene Despite Being Surrounded By Urban Development. Tumwater Falls Was A Lovely Addition. A Great Place To Walk With Paved Trails. Small Reservoirs Of Water Dot The Walking Path Great For Dipping Your Feet Into Or Providing Animals A Place To Drink.
  • This is a hidden gem , just off of the I5. Stop in and take the short but very scenic trail that loops around and brings you back to where you started. The food at the restaurant overlooking the falls is quite good and reasonably priced. A great place for a romantic evening dinner.
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