Set against the backdrop of Mount Rainier and nestled between Lake Washington and Puget Sound, Seattle boasts a formidable landscape. Several multinational companies, such as Amazon and Microsoft, call this city their home. With both these aspects put together, Seattle sees its fair share of leisure as well as business travellers. And attracting the former, among other city sights, are Snoqualmie Falls that are touted to be Washington state’s most famous waterfall. Water drops from a height of about 82 m (268 ft) and is every bit a sight for sore eyes, attracting thousands each year. In order to help you plan your visit to these falls, we’ve put together a handy guide. Read on to find out more in our guide to Snoqualmie Falls, Seattle.
Things to do / Highlights
Admire the view
Just a little ahead of the parking lots is a viewing deck that offers some of the most stunning views of Snoqualmie Falls. This observation deck is free to use and has several vantage points from where you can catch good views of the waterfall. So, you need not worry about struggling with the crowd to catch a peek.
John Wayne Trail and Mount Si Trail are the two most famous mountain biking trails in the area. You can bike along these and admire gorgeous views of Washington’s countryside as well as the falls. While the John Wayne Trail is best used from May until October, Mount Si Trail does well from April to November. Both are dog-friendly so take your little buddies along too!
Do some hiking
Snoqualmie Falls Trail is a short 2 km (1.2 mi) long trail that is famous for the amazing views of the falls that it allows. It is not an entirely difficult hike but can get a tad risky in bad weather. For the best experience, head there from April until October.
Enjoy a picnic
While there is no designated area for picnicking here, you can always bring along your picnic basket and use one of the six tables located at the side of the trails and have a fun time. These tables are laid out at amazing spots so you’re able to enjoy being surrounded by greenery with the sound of the falls in the background. However, please note that barbecuing is not permitted here and tables cannot be reserved in advance.
While the hike to the base of the fall is a leisurely one in good weather, it can get slightly challenging in the monsoon season. However, when the rainfall is at its peak that is also when the falls are at their glorious best. In such a case, you are advised to maintain optimal safety to ensure that there’s no untoward incident. Also, while most hiking trails here are dog-friendly, you are expected to keep your pet on a leash.
The viewing deck is outdoors and if you’re planning to head there in the monsoons or around a time when the falls’ waters are at their strongest, be prepared to get wet. It is worthwhile carrying a change of clothes.
Choose the right time
Snoqualmie Falls are a very popular tourist attraction, so you’re likely to find it packed on weekends and holidays. Weekdays or early mornings are usually the best times to avoid massive crowds and enjoy the falls’ beauty to the fullest.
Information for specially abled and children
While the viewing areas are completely wheelchair and stroller-friendly, if you’re planning to hike the trails, it may prove to be quite challenging. The hikes can get slightly steep to push wheeled objects. If you’re bringing your little ones along, we recommend using a baby carrier instead of a stroller.
How to get there
To reach Snoqualmie Falls, visitors can board Transit’s Route 554 bus from downtown Seattle to the Issaquah Transfer Center. From there, catch Metro’s Route 209 bus towards North Bend, which will drop you off a short walk away from the falls.
If you’re driving down to the falls in a private or rented vehicle, firing up Google Maps for the best route is your safest bet. If you’d rather not use Google Maps, drive along Interstate 90 East and take exit 25 towards Snoqualmie Parkway. Head north until exit 202, which will lead you to Snoqualmie Falls. There’s enough signage to get you to the falls once you reach exit 202. This journey can be about 45 minutes long, depending on weather and traffic conditions.
There are two parking lots that you can use here, a small and a large one. The small lot is the one closer to the falls’ base. It is on the left, a little past the pedestrians’ bridge. The large one is on the right, also past the bridge, but a tad farther from the base. Both of these are free to use.
Snoqualmie Falls information
Address: 6501 Railroad Ave SE, Snoqualmie, WA 98065-9687
Official website: Snoqualmie Falls
Department of tourism: Seattle Travel
Snoqualmie Falls, Cascade Foothills and Seattle City Tour
Duration: 4 hours
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