Clayton Beach Falls – Exploring Washington’s Hidden Waterfalls

2023 Update – The Clayton Beach Trail is currently closed. There is construction on the trail and it is to be avoided. You can call the park at 360-676-2093 for current information.

Hidden along one of the most scenic drives in the country, Clayton Beach Falls in Washington is a picturesque waterfall worth a visit. Though it may not be the most impressive waterfall in the area, its unique beauty is best appreciated when the creek is running high.

In this article, we will explore the waterfall itself, how to get there, and other nearby hikes and attractions.

Clayton Beach Falls – Quick Look

Location: Chuckanut Mountain
Type of Approach: Trail
Difficulty: Fairly Easy
Type: Tiered
Height: 30′
Width: 15′
Nearby Waterfalls: Chuckanut Mountain Falls, Lost Lake Falls, Oyster Creek Falls

Other Waterfalls In This Series

Little Mashell Falls • Wells Creek Falls • Devil’s Peak Falls • Edith Gorge Falls • Racehorse FallsBlueberry Falls • Cougar Creek Falls • Coal Creek Falls • Lake Creek Falls • Colonial Creek Falls • Cavern Falls • Skyline Falls

The Waterfall Itself

Clayton Beach Falls is a tiered waterfall, with the main portion resembling a large chair, perhaps suitable for Bigfoot or another mythical creature. When the creek is running high, the falls transform into a beautiful, cascading wonder, as evidenced by the accompanying photographs. Just downstream, another tier of the falls can be found, along with a huge rope swing over a shallow pool in the creek.

How To Get There

To reach Clayton Beach Falls, take I-5 to exit 231 and follow Highway 11 to the Clayton Beach Trailhead. Cross the road and start on the trail to Clayton Beach. Within a few feet, you’ll cross a steel bridge over the creek. After crossing, head right into the woods on any of the several boot paths and follow it downstream to the falls.

The hike to Clayton Beach through Larrabee State Park in Bellingham is a gentle descent through a typical Pacific Northwest forest. At about the half-mile mark, there’s a scramble down a large sandstone slab, which adds interest but may be challenging for some. At the base of the scramble, the trail crosses an active rail line and continues a short distance to the left (east).

Be aware of trail braiding and choose the correct path to reach the sandy beach, adorned with worn rocks on one end and remnants of a dock or pier on the other.

Other Hikes and Attractions Nearby

For those looking to explore more of the area, nearby waterfalls include Chuckanut Mountain Falls, Lost Lake Falls, and Oyster Creek Falls. Each offers a unique perspective of Washington’s diverse landscape and provides additional opportunities for hiking and sightseeing.


Clayton Beach Falls may not be the most popular waterfall in Washington, but it’s a hidden gem worth exploring, especially when the creek is running high. Its picturesque beauty, combined with the easy hike to get there, make it a perfect addition to any scenic drive through Chuckanut Mountain. So take the time to discover this charming spot, and don’t forget to check out other nearby attractions to make the most of your adventure.

Join our email crew and get 10% off our PNW hoodies & shirts!
We'll also include you in sporadic emails, travel guides, and updates about the area!

We respect your privacy.