Otter Falls

Spring and early summer are the best seasons for the hike to Otter Falls which offers many beautiful views with a breathtaking 500-foot waterfall at the end.  You’ll start your eleven-mile round trip hike from Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead with a gorgeous view of the Taylor River.  This old logging road offers beautiful green views of nature and some wildlife. Along your hike to Otter Falls you’ll pass several small creeks, some that you’ll have to walk through.  You’ll then approach a large bridge with views of Martin Creek.  Martin Creek is a great place to stop and explore nature and some of the old camp sites located just off the trail.  There are a couple of deep swimming pools just below the Martin Creek bridge.  After Martin Creek before the Otter Falls turnoff, you will cross a couple of larger creeks which require walking or wading through.  

Once arriving to Otter Falls you will need to traverse (up then down) a short pathway to really take in the whole view.  Otter Falls drops 1600 feet into Lipsey Lake, a small swimming hole.  You can see the last 500 foot drop from the lake.  After you have enjoyed all that the stunning Otter Falls has to offer you can hike an additional half mile to Big Creek Falls.  Big Creek Falls is the last waterfall on the Taylor River Trail and the only one visible from the trail. At only 238 feet in height but a year round supply of water, it is worth the extra half mile hike.  This popular eleven-mile hike won’t disappoint with all that the scenic Taylor River/ Snoqualmie Lake Trail has to offer!  It’s very shady and great for dogs as well.  While very narrow and rocky in places, you can mountain bike it with some portages.

  • Please check with the local Forest Service office for any hiking restrictions and current road conditions.  Otter Falls usually dries up later in the summer.  The Taylor River, Martens Creek and Big Creek Falls flow year round.  
  • The Middle Fork Snoqualmie Forest Road which is used to access the trailhead was washed out in December, 2019.  The earliest possible reopening is midsummer 2020.  So until then, it’s a minimum of 8 miles round trip extra to reach Otter Falls.  
  • Watch a video biking-hiking tour of the Taylor River Snoqualmie Lake Trail including a stop a Otter Falls.
Credit: Photo by @snaphappyjill on Instagram.
Big Creek Falls
Big Creek Falls

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