Tumwater Falls Park, Tumwater

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.
The 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.
Tumwater 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
241 reviews
  • The park is suitable for a walk. There are always signs on the way, so you can find out about the story. The waterfalls are nice to look at and both Lower Falls it gets a bit wet with the spray.
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  • A beautiful day for a walk around the Tumwater Falls loop with my family! There is a nice mist that cones from the lower falls to keep you cool and the grade is cery gradual for all ages to enjoy. The...  more »
  • Always love walking the park and seeing all the waterfalls. Easy walk, some stairs and hills, pathways are loose gravel/dirt. Restrooms are always clean as well as the park. Staff always on site to answer questions and talk about the history of the park. Definitely a great way to spend a half day in Olympia.
  • Best place for taking photos and going for a long walk down the trails to the waterfront and closely to the water falls.. you can feel the the sprinklings of water spraying on your face. During the summer' stay super super duper cool down in the shade 😎😎👌😎😎 and cool off with the water splashing you from the falls. Getting wonderful photos of memories to share for ever. Great place to go with family and friends!! 💗💗💞💞💗💗

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