Free Parking and Viewing Area
Short Hiking Trail
Snoqualmie Falls Locations List
We compiled a list of places to go and things to do around Snoqualmie Falls for your convenience. Click on an items you are interested in to get more information. We’ve got indoor and outdoor things for all four seasons here!
- Getting to Snoqualmie Falls
- Snoqualmie Falls Overview
- Snoqualmie Falls History
- View and Photograph Snoqualmie Falls from the viewing platform
- Have a meal or visit the spa at Salish Lodge and Spa. Twin Peaks and other souvenirs available inside.
- Hike to the bottom of the falls and back (1.3 miles)
- Check out the Twin Peaks filming locations for White Tail Falls and the Great Northern Hotel.
Overview of Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie Falls is one of the grandest waterfalls that the United States has to offer. Since it drops 268 feet or 82 meters , the waterfall has become a major source of naturally generated hydro-electric power for the region. Because of the immense size, there are opportunities to view the falls from different angles. One views from either the park area or from a small platform accessible through a moderate 1.3 mile hike.
The best time to join the fun is from June until December. The park Receiving on average 1.5 million visitors per year, the Park features hiking, walking, birding, and witnessing the famous waterfall featured in the cult classic “Twin Peaks.”
The location also features the Salish Lodge and Spa, a lovely resort getaway. This is where the Pacific Northwest Cuisine shines with seasonal ingredients, homegrown herbs, and honey featured from their own apiary. The award winning spa is also nothing short of relaxing serenity. You can soak in the therapeutic pools and stock up on organic skin care products.
Snoqualmie Falls History
Snoqualmie Falls marked an important location for the Native American population. Although there were no salmon available above the falls, it became a seasonal meeting place where trading was encouraged and grew more common. The Snoqualmie Tribe (a branch of the Coast Salish) established a camp at the base of Mount Si. Fall City and Tolt were also established by these people.
Snoqualmie is the English pronunciation of “sah-KOH-koh” or “Sdob-dwahibbluh,” a Salish word meaning moon. It makes sense then, that the people were known as “people of the moon.”
The falls became a tourist destination and as more settlers came in, Jeremiah Borst got the claim to be the first white resident near the early 1850s. By 1877, Snoqualime Falls became part of the many regions invested in lumber and logging. Logs used to float downstream, over the falls, and into the Puget Sound area.
Charles Baker, a civil engineer, officiated the town of Snoqualmie. He also constructed an underground power plant at the falls in the 1890s (those original generators are still functioning today). The power plant created electricity and jobs for locals. Soon a small company town was established at the falls. In 1911, a second powerhouse was constructed.
Viewing and Photographing the Falls
There is a 2 acre park at Snoqualmie Falls. The park is operated by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) which operates a hydroelectric project at the Falls. The top of the waterfall is less than 100 yards from the parking lot. There are viewing areas mainly from the side of the falls at the top observation deck. A fence blocks visitors from falling off the cliff. You will also find some picnic tables and benches and the Centennial Green, a site for occasional weddings. There are also a gift shop and restrooms next to the parking lot next to the road just below the observation deck. Expect many visitors since this is where you get the best views of the Falls. But don’t worry, there’s lots of parking on the other side of the road and up the hill. Cross over the bridge above the road to reach the Falls from the large parking lots.
At the bottom of the Falls is the lower observation deck. You can either get here from SE Fish Hatchery Rd or by hiking down the Snoqualmie Falls Trail. There’s no direct view of the Falls from this deck at the river level below.
Snoqualmie Falls Trail
To find the trail, head down the walkway from the railed Falls viewpoint. Make a right turn, and then a left, passing 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.
The total Snoqualmie Falls Trail distance is 1.4 miles round trip and the elevation loss is 333 feet (464 ft at the top, 131 ft at the bottom). It’s quite steep, a 10% grade or more in most places. There are a number of plaques introducing the native wildlife and their Snoqualmie names. Expect the trail to be wide and have several long switchbacks. Dogs are permitted on leash.
At the bottom of the hill is the lower parking lot accessible from SE Fish Hatchery Rd. There is a boardwalk from the lower parking lot 0.3 miles to the lower viewpoint. Save some energy for the way back up!
Twin Peaks and Snoqualmie Falls
The cult classic hit “Twin Peaks” featured Snoqualmie Falls. In Twin Peaks, the waterfall seems mysterious and remote, but in reality it’s very open and accessible to the public. The best part is that the camera crew of Twin Peaks used the scenic overlook to get the majority of their shots. Meaning, a perfect recreation shot or footage of the falls requires only a gentle walk and a camera.
Salish Lodge and Spa
The Salish Lodge and Spa is a treasure for the fans of Twin Peaks, as it was called The Great Northern Hotel in the show. Inside, you can visit the gift shops filled with Twin Peaks inspired knick knacks, pancake mix, coffee, cherry pie filling, log pillows, and more. The lodge is a functioning hotel, so if one is a guest, renting room 315 may not be out of the question.
At the Salish Lodge and Spa, not only can you shop, but also have a bite to eat at one of two restaurants. Or visit the spa and have a massage, body treatment, or facial.
Getting to the Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie Falls is right off Highway 202. It’s one mile from Snoqualmie and four miles from Fall City. On days with few visitors, parking is available alongside the Highway next to the falls. If that’s full, enter the lot on the other side of the road (entrance next to the pedestrian bridge). There’s a good sized parking area at the bridge and if that’s full, head up to the upper section of the parking lot for more space.