Pacific Northwest Book Review

     Any waterfall guide is a poor substitute for the real experience of personally seeing, hearing and feeling a spectacular waterfall up close, but “Waterfall Lover’s Guide: Pacific Northwest” comes close with hundreds of detailed maps, hiking directions and color and black-and-white photographs of the area’s most beautiful waterfalls.

     Geologist Gregory Plumb demonstrates his personal love and knowledge of Pacific Northwest waterfalls in the fifth edition of this useful and informative guidebook, originally published in 1983.

     Also called cataracts, waterfalls are awe-inspiring accidents of nature created by converging forces such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, glaciers and erosion. Some waterfalls provide steady flows year-round, while others are seasonal, appearing only after strong rains and then drying up again.

     “Waterfall Lover’s Guide” catalogs and rates more than 700 waterfalls from the Pacific Northwest region encompassing Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Some of the best waterfalls can be found in mountainous areas by hiking up steep, wet and slippery trails, while others like Multnomah Falls on the Columbia Gorge can be enjoyed without the hike.

     A quick reference to one of the guide’s many maps or charts can direct readers to exceptional waterfalls located nearest to them or help to plan a waterfall watching tour for a rainy Sunday afternoon drive. Each waterfall is ranked by magnitude, elevation, watershed size and the latitude and longitude for waterfall watchers with GPS. The guide is available in paperback and as an e-book, and has a companion website with color digital photos at

     The largest waterfall ever known is Dry Falls near Coulee City, Wash., located just south of the Grand Coulee Dam. The falls are completely dry now, but 10,000 years ago, Dry Falls was once 40 times stronger than Niagara Falls.


Reviewed by John Morgan, 5/19/2015

Waterfall Lover’s Guide: Pacific Northwest (5th Ed.)

"Waterfall Lover's Guide: Pacific Northwest"

By Gregory A. Plumb


Publisher: Mountaineers Books, Seattle, WA


ISBN: 978-1-59485-753-9

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