Family Weekender: Seattle

Hiking Twin Falls Trail
Go Guide: Twin Falls State Park

Activities: hiking, photography, wildlife watching, naturalist studies, swimming
Age Levels: All ages
Hours from Seattle: 30 minutes

Getting There: From North Bend by driving 4.5 miles east on I-90 to Exit 34. Turn right (south) onto 468th St. SE. Continue south for = mile, then turn left (east) onto SE 159th St. Drive to the road end at the trailhead—about a quarter mile.
Reference: Pacific Northwest Hiking: The Complete Guide, by Ron C. Judd and Dan A. Nelson (Foghorn Press, 1-800-FOGHORN).
Contact: The Washington State Department of Parks and Recreation, 7150 Cleanwater Lane, Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650; 1-800-452-5687.
Extra Treats: Watch the woods for an assortment of birds and animals. On hot summer days, swim in the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River below the falls.


The highlights of this trail are two waterfall-viewing platforms. The upper viewing area is a bridge spanning the South Fork Snoqualmie River and offering great views of the pretty stair-step Upper Twin Falls.

Though the trail can be accessed from either end, the best hiking is from the west trailhead. There, the trail begins as a meandering path through cool, green-tinted forests of old-growth cedar and Douglas fir. Look for shy blacktail deer and listen for the rap-a-tat-tat of downy woodpeckers at work on the standing snags that dot the forest.

The trail weaves through the woods and gradually gains elevation for nearly a mile and a half before reaching a junction. The main trail continues to climb, contouring to the left around the slope while a short spur trail drops off to the right. Follow this path a few hundred yards and you'll find yourself atop a broad cedar-planked viewing platform. This deck is cantilevered over a cliff face and provides awesome views of the 150-foot cascade of the Lower Twin Falls, which are particularly glorious. The frothing water churns off the granite cliff face, providing a sparkling ribbon of water just yards in front of the sturdy viewing deck.

Once you've soaked in the views (and quite possibly the spray!) head back to the main trail and continue upward another quarter mile to the bridge over the river. From here you can look upstream to view the raging waters as they crash over a series of stair-step falls. These Upper Falls are not as blatantly grand as the lower, but they are pretty in their own right.

The trail continues east past the upper falls for another half-mile before reaching the old railroad bed that now carries the Iron Horse Trail—a cross-state trail utilizing the old railway.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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