One of the most beautiful and popular waterfalls in the state of Washington is less than 35 miles from the heart of Seattle. Snoqualmie Falls is recognizable to many because of several appearances it made in the Twin Peaks television series. In fact, the Salish Lodge and Spa at the top of the falls was the exterior setting of the Great Northern Hotel.
Although Snoqualmie is actually 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls, one of its greatest attractions is its accessibility. The top of the waterfall is less than a hundred yards from the primary parking lot, and the path that leads to the overlook is paved and wheelchair friendly.
A nature trail down to the base of the falls starts at the observation deck. It drops three hundred feet, so the climb back out takes some time. This is an awesome hike when the waterfall is flowing at its peak and the falls is as much as 150 feet wide. In summer it is OK to go past the end of the boardwalk out onto boulders in the river, but when water is high it is unsafe to go any farther. There is an underground power plant at the base of the falls.
At the top, there is a two-acre park with a nice picnic area and several benches.Both parking and falls viewing are free.
While here, stop by the Salish Lodge and Spa gift shop. And, if you have time, make reservations for the multi-course country breakfast. It has been served since 1916, and is a long-standing tradition for Washington State residents to enjoy at least once a year.
The Snoqualmie Valley Railroad operates from April through October. The nine mile round trip includes views of Snoqualmie Falls.