Hike Snoqualmie Falls to Learn an Uplifting History

30 miles east of Seattle, witness this beautiful 270 foot waterfall in Snoqualmie Falls, WA. This will be a hike you will not soon forget. Many other visitors will join you to hike Snoqualmie Falls because it is a major tourist attraction in Washington.

Everyday people desire to see Snoqualmie Falls from top to bottom. Although the park is small, it is possible to access the bottom where water flows from the falls. From the top deck you will notice what appears to be tiny people playing near the water. Snoqualmie Falls is dog friendly and the return hike may provide more exercise than you anticipate.

Hike Snoqualmie Falls from the upper deck.
Snoqualmie Falls, WA

How Long Does It Take to Hike Snoqualmie Falls?

The hike from the upper deck to the lower deck is nearly half a mile. This should take you less than 10 minutes. Walking the deck along the Snoqualmie River is about a quarter mile – Also less than 10 minutes. The total hiking distance is only 1.5 miles if you walk everywhere. The return trip will be the most challenging part of the hike. It may take you 10 minutes, or a bit longer. Obviously, stopping to enjoy the falls or educate yourself on the history will increase the total time.

Expect to spend 30 minutes hiking Snoqualmie Falls, WA

Things to Do at Snoqualmie Falls

Address: 37451 SE Fish Hatchery Rd, Fall City, WA 98024

  • 1.5 mile hike
  • View the falls from top or bottom
  • Visit Snoqualmie Falls Lodge
  • Public restrooms
  • Gift shop
  • Walk your dog
  • Search for Sasquatch

Best Time to See Snoqualmie Falls in Washington

If you decide to journey to Snoqualmie Falls you will not be alone. Many people visit the falls throughout the year to enjoy the spectacular view. It may not be the best area to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing view due to its popularity. The upper parking lot will get you very close to the observation deck and the lodge.

We visited the falls during the very last week of August. If you compare my photos of the falls with others, you will notice there is less activity in August. Try visiting in the spring if you are interested in the best time to see Snoqualmie Falls.

A street view of Rattlesnake Mountain from Snoqualmie Falls parking.
Hike Rattlesnake Mountain near Snoqualmie Falls

Drive to the Bottom of Snoqualmie Falls

Address: 37479 SE Fish Hatchery Rd, Fall City, WA 98024

The walk down to the bottom of the falls is short (half a mile), but the decent is nearly 300 feet. The way down is very easy, but everyone must return by hiking back up the trail. If stairs and a steep incline are going to be a problem for you, I recommend parking in the lower lot. Appropriate hiking shoes would also be a plus. It may get muddy and slippery if it is wet outside.

You Can Hike to the Bottom of Snoqualmie Falls

It was a hot and humid day in Seattle when we visited Snoqualmie Falls. As soon as we left the city we received some cloud cover, and the temperature dropped a bit. It is a short walk to the overlook, but it may be difficult to get a front row view because of the crowd. The view of the falls was unlike any other I have ever seen. It was easy to understand why so many people were willing to hike Snoqualmie Falls on a weekday morning.

After viewing the falls from the overlook, we decided to head down to the bottom and capture that view as well. Even though we were in a temperate rainforest in the summer, it was still cooler than the unusually hot weather in Seattle.

The way down to the bottom of the trail was easy, and I knew the way back up would be much more exhausting. At the bottom there is no direct access to the falls. We were at least 100 yards away just as we had been from the top.

Hike Snoqualmie Falls from the lower level trail.
The bottom of Snoqualmie Falls

Yes, Snoqualmie Falls is a Hike

Once we had seen enough of the falls from the bottom, it was time to hike back up the way we had came. The trail is only half a mile, but the climb up is the challenging part. Many people state in reviews that the hike is easy.

I do not believe that the average person climbs 30 floors in a day. For that reason, I disagree and believe the hike is a moderate challenge. Does it qualify as a hike? Yes. The definition of a hike involves walking upward on unusual terrain. It may be short, but it is a dog friendly hike with some spectacular views.

As a certified personal trainer, I have always been a fan of exercise. I prefer to be physically active in many ways. If you enjoy activity and do not mind steps, you will enjoy hiking Snoqualmie Falls and may find it to be easy. If you are not very active and are easily winded by a flight of stairs, you will not enjoy this hike.

However, there is a lower parking lot in which you can park, allowing you to skip most of the incline. The hike back up the trail was not a great challenge for me, but I was sweating prior to reaching the top. Your decision to hike may depend on your fitness level. If you are hiking with your dog keep his, or her, age and activity level in mind as well.

The History of Snoqualmie Falls, WA

Believe it or not, Snoqualmie Falls has a major part in the creation story of the Snoqualmie People (those who have lived in Snoqualmie for centuries). Snoqualmie is a word that means moon when translated to English. They have been known as the people of the moon. It is their belief that Snoqualmie Falls is sacred and the rising mists grant a connection to the Creator.

Another photo of Snoqualmie Falls from the upper level.
Snoqualmie Falls from the upper deck

In the not too distant past, logs were sent down the Snoqualmie River and over the falls. Daredevils visited the falls in an attempt to entertain. One man walked a tightrope across the falls, while another jumped out of a balloon with a parachute. The former lived to tell about it, but the latter did not.

Snoqualmie Falls was also the site of the first underground power plant. A second hydroelectric plant was added downstream after several years, and both are still operational today. The Snoqualmie people are currently engaged in a battle to reclaim the sacred land. It is their goal to remove the power plants and tourist attractions, while restoring the falls.

The pipes from the lower level at Snoqualmie Falls.

Beware Sasquatch at Snoqualmie Falls

After visiting many areas in Seattle, it was a nice change of pace to see Snoqualmie Falls. The area can get somewhat crowded, but it offers memorable views which will last a lifetime. I will admit, I was a bit sweaty after climbing back up from the bottom. However, I love finding dog friendly places to hike, and enjoy the activity as well.

The sign states not to feed the animals and one picture shows a Sasquatch.
Be cougar, bear and Sasquatch aware

We never did catch a glimpse of that Sasquatch the sign warned us about on the way in. Oh well, perhaps you will have better luck. Should you hike Snoqualmie Falls in Washington? Absolutely. Should you go on an adventure to the bottom of the falls? That one I leave up to you!

Rattlesnake Mountain is easy to see.
Nearby Rattlesnake Mountain

Things to Do Near Snoqualmie

  • Tokul Tunnel
  • Three Forks Natural Area
  • Snoqualmie Casino
  • Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course
  • Rattlesnake Mountain

There are plenty of other things to do near the falls. Have you hiked near Snoqualmie Falls? Come back to Places for Pups and let us know what you have done, and how long it took you to hike Snoqualmie Falls in Washington.

I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it.

We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site.

Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly.  I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.


David Earley


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July 17, 2020 10:33 pm

I blog frequently and thank you for your content. This has truly peaked my interest.