The impressive 270 ft Snoqualmie Falls should be on the to do list of every person in the Puget Sound. Admittedly, the best views are from the area above the falls near the Salish Lodge and Falls and don't require a hike - as long as you don't classify the couple hundred yards you have to walk from the parking lot to the viewing area as a hike. However, the short hike down to the Snoqualmie River passes through a lush forest, past a hydro plant and onto a raised wooden walkway that deposits you at the lower observation deck and provides another perspective of the beautiful falls. You can also split off the trail near the restrooms and make your way down to the Snoqualmie River to further explore.
We pulled into the parking lot across the street from the Snoqualmie Falls in the late morning and were able to quickly find a spot, although there was a steady stream of cars rolling into the parking lot. We made our way across the footbridge and were quickly rewarded with our first views of the falls.
There was a good number of people viewing the falls, not unexpected, considering it was a nice March day (although this year we have seen more sunny winter weekends than I can remember over the last 20 years). We continued making our way through the throngs of people down to another viewing platform, where after a couple of minutes, we were able to get up to the edge and get another view of the falls.
We made our way to the start of the Snoqualmie Falls Walking Trail, passing through a small picnic area and started descending down towards the river. There were some cool trees along the way which my son enjoyed playing on. I always find nurse logs interesting, no matter how many times I seem them...
The Snoqualmie Falls Walking Trail was definitely steeper than I remembered - I recalled it as a leisurely stroll down to the lower viewing platform. While it’s not a difficult trail as it’s a wide trail covered in gravel and devoid of roots, it does have a good pitch to it.
We reached the lower parking lot, and after a quick bathroom break, made our way towards the Snoqualmie Falls Lower Observation Deck. I’ve come to Snoqualmie Falls a number of times over the years, and I always forget there is a lower parking lot that provides access to this area. There were not many cars down here; something to keep in mind if the upper lots gets extremely crowded. Not to mention I always prefer starting a hike by going up!
We passed the hydro station and long tubes which feed the water, and then made our way along the wooden walkway towards the observation area. I had told my son we might get hit with spray from the falls once we got on the observation deck, but that wasn’t the case. Not sure if I am mis-remembering, but I thought I was there one cold day and was getting wet.. Anyways, another cool vantage point of the falls.
We decided to head down to the Snoqualmie River and sit on the rocks and enjoy the sun. There were only a couple of people down by the river and it was a nice and relaxing break. Then we made our way back up the trail. My son was a little tired walking up, so we took a break on a log about half way through.
One final view of the falls, and then we decided to head into the Snoqualmie Lodge for brunch. The food and service was great, I especially recommend getting the honey poured on the biscuits. It’s locally produced, and the accuracy of the pour is amazing!
A great day out with the family. Amazing views of the falls, a nice short hike with a little bit of elevation gain, and a great brunch to cap it off!