Most people would think hiking in 19 degree weather is a bit cray-cray. But coming from Chicago, we know how to bundle up and we wanted to see some waterfalls in icy winter splendour.
So we ventured out on this cold Sunday to see Franklin Falls.
If you are looking for a relatively easy day-hike and don’t want to venture too far outside of Seattle, Franklin Falls is the ideal place.
Located just 50 miles from Seattle off I-90, the hike is short (2 miles roundtrip) but sweet – it culminates in a glorious waterfall.
When we got to the trailhead parking lot, it was fun to see snow on the ground (no snow in Seattle). We joined the trail, which borders the Snoqualmie River. There are little houses across the river, which look like they belong in a storybook.
Despite parts of the river being frozen, the river ran wildly. As we traversed the trail through the woods, we passed some gorgeous cedar trees.
We enjoyed playing in the snow along the way.
This hike was full of cool, blue and white icicles hanging off cliffsides along a blue iced over river. It was stunning.
There were not many people on the trail yet this morning. We saw one honeybadger trail running on the icy path (yikes! we do not advise this). A couple returning from the falls warned us to go off trail to avoid a very serious icy patch. We saw the icy patch and agreed that going around it would be best. The problem was, once we got off trail, we couldn’t figure out how to get back to the trail – which ended up being below us. We did not have microspikes or any traction footwear with us, so ultimately we weren’t able to see the falls. We decided to play it safe – rather than risk slipping and falling off the cliffside – so we turned around and headed back. I was bummed, because I had hiked to the falls in the summer and they are spectacular – they look like this:
Back near the river, we ventured on to the ice/beach to take some cool water pix.
We crossed the bridge by the parking area to take in another cool mini-falls to the south of the trail.
We had lots of fun videos of this winter wonderland.
After the hike, we drove to North Bend for some delicious cherry pie at Twede’s Cafe (made famous in the TV show Twin Peaks).
To quote Agent Cooper, “Damn good food. Diane, if you ever get up this way that cherry pie is worth a stop.”
Important Travel Notes:
Directions to Trailhead: From Seattle drive east on I-90 to exit 47 (Asahel Curtis/Denny Creek). Turn left over the overpass and proceed to a T. Turn right and travel 0.25 mile to Denny Creek Road (Forest Road 58). Turn left and drive 3 miles, passing the Denny Creek Campground. Turn left onto FR 5830 and park in the lot before the bridge.
Required Credentials: Northwest Forest Pass
Directions to Twede’s Cafe : Take exit 31 off I-90 and head north at the roundabout on North Bend Blvd N. After you drive over the Snoqualmie River, Twede’s will be on your right at the corner of North Bend Blvd. N and W North Bend Way.