The 0.7-mile interpretive trail from the upper falls viewpoints to the lower falls viewpoint is family- and pet-friendly, good for beginners, teaches the basics of the flora and fauna near Snoqualmie Pass, informs about local Native American culture, and ends with impressive views of a Washington icon.
From the railed Falls Viewpoint, head down the walkway and make a right turn, and then a left, leading you behind the gift shop and visitor center. You will come to a kiosk with a map. The broad, gravel trail is just across the access road from the kiosk. As you descend approximately 250 feet over 0.4 miles, take a look at interpretive plaques introducing the native wildlife and provide their Snoqualmie names. Ferns, salmonberry, vine maple, alder, bigleaf maple, western hemlock, Douglas fir, and western redcedar are the major flora here, and they put on a flashy display of color in the fall. This section is a steep, providing a short challenge on the way back up. It is an excellent introduction to the region for novice hikers.
At the bottom of the hill, the trail passes by a lower parking lot and then follows a boardwalk along the river. Take in the sound of the waters crashing as you walk the final flat 0.3 miles to a viewpoint of the river curtaining down in a cloud of spray. Read the signs that chronicle the falls’ historical and cultural significance.
The Snoqualmie Tribe consider the falls to be humanity’s place of origin, and the crushing waters have provided energy to a hydroelectric plant since 1898. Today, the Snoqualmie River’s 268-foot drop generates electricity for Puget Sound Energy, which manages the site. In the early 90s, Snoqualmie Falls became a cult icon when it featured prominently in the credit sequence to David Lynch's television series "Twin Peaks". The success of the show turned the falls into a local landmark that draws 1.5 million visitors per year.
Though you may be tempted to get closer to the famed falls, please don’t climb over the gate or railings to the river below, as the surfaces are often slippery, and river levels may change unpredictably.
WTA Pro Tip: After your hike, continue east on SR-202 for 1 mile for a visit to historic Snoqualmie, with its boutique shops, small restaurants, and train museum.
RAINBOW AT SNOQUALMIE FALLS IN WASHINGTON
Posted on November 12, 2013 by MichaelMatti
Image Credit: Michael Matti
Data Source: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/snoqualmie-falls
#amazingplacestosee #amazingphotos #waterfall