Franklin Falls


Decided that it was finally the time to give this hike a chance. We have tried to do it twice and weren’t successful. Reason for that is onetime we didn’t have a parking pass and the other time there was a ton of snow, which closed the road into the park adding about three miles to the hike. The kids were pretty small then and that was a lot to ask out of them at the time. Both times, we ended up leaving.

This time though we went up on our 12 year anniversary. We have always wanted to see this waterfall. Its especially popular in the winter because with it being relatively short even with the added distance the end result is nothing short of amazing. This waterfall rests at the base of Snoqualmie Pass. In the snowy/cold season the splash from the fall freezes on the rocks next to the fall making the biggest icicles. It is one of the coolest sights to see. I haven’t seen it in person, but it would be amazing for sure. The photos I have seen and video coverage of it. WOW. Breathtaking. Sometimes ice climbers go out there and climb the ice. Pretty cool if you’re into that sort of adventure. I would love to photograph it, but definitely not my cup of tea to partake in.

On the day we went up, it was a cool, cloudy, typical PNW day. Even for July. There was a slight mist in the air. Clouds were heavy in the pass, making it seem foggy. I had high hopes that the not so great weather would have people staying away from this gem at the bottom of the pass. And we were lucky enough to have just that. Only two other cars in the parking area.

The trail itself was well maintained. Muddy in some spots, but like I mentioned it was a bit wet out, and we have been having some unseasonable amounts of rain for this time of year. The trail was quiet, like I mentioned really nobody around. The hike in we passed one solo hiker. There was a few cabins along the trail, I’m thinking peoples ski homes for the winter. They were sure cute to look at. Then tons of lush forest. The trail started level with the river, as you progress there were a lot of log stairs to climb, the river sank into a very well carved out ravine. Seemed like there were multiple falls on this river, least from the look of the landscape and sound it seemed like there were. Was hard to see in some areas. Be careful seems some people have been curious and have tried going out of the way to look for those waterfalls. You’re up on maybe a 100ish foot cliff. Rocks below. I wouldn’t advise going off the trail to attempt seeing anything more than you can from the trail. There would be lots of regret in one wrong step or a slip on a wet rock.

The hike itself is short. 1.2 miles I believe. So quick. Trail does take you up like I mentioned but nothing to unrealistic. Lots of steps. Now, once you get to the end of the trail it gets tricky. The dirt path turns to rock. Sheer flat rock. I have heard the struggles of the last bit of this trail in the winter. Very slippery as that rock gets covered in ice and snow. I’ve heard most slide down on their butt during the winter, then coming back up they have microspikes. While not needed, it does make getting back up that steep rock climb easier. Least I can imagine. This particular day the rocks were just wet. Not really even slippery. Just watch your footing and hold the wall. I suggest a trekking pole in your other hand. Just for piece of mind. Once your past the rocks and the wall, you’re there. The waterfall is huge right in front of you. It’s about an 80-100 foot fall. Super pretty. Only downfall to this particular waterfall is you can see the overpass of I-90 above. Takes that peaceful in the middle of the woods feeling away. When we were there you could hear the traffic, see the occasional semi truck over the barrier. Then of course someone had to paint the underside of the past with distasteful graffiti.

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The falls were nice, the surrounding area was nice. And we had it all to ourselves. Was a wonderful way for us to celebrate 12 years together. We hung out there for a little bit. Looked for stones, had some lunch, took some pictures. Was beautiful. As we were leaving another couple was coming in. So it was definitely perfect timing. Then continuing on our way out many, many more people were on the trail. Even groups. Also seemed a field trip of smaller children. Which I was pretty disappointed to see, there was two adults for around 15-20 kids. No where near enough supervision for the amount of kids in that type of setting. The cliffs and rocks… No way! Needed more adults in that group.

Which brings me to my closing. Depending on your child(ren) yes, this is a very good family hike. Just watch them along the rain and towards the end when you can finally see the falls in sight. Dogs, absolutely. Just remember to clean up after them and have them leashed. Enjoy your hike! We sure did. Already thinking about that winter return trip!

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