Our moist climate and mountainous terrain produces beautiful waterfalls! Spring is a great time to visit the many waterfalls in our region because they are flowing at their peak, as the snow melts in the surrounding mountains.
If hiking is not your idea of fun, you can drive right up to the roaring and gushing 270 foot Snoqualmie Falls. The falls are very impressive and you can park your car easily in their parking lot, then walk to a viewing area. It takes about 25-30 minutes to drive to Snoqualmie Falls from Bellevue.
If you like to hike, you can find hundreds of waterfalls to visit in our area. Here are some hikes you might enjoy:
(Note: for some of the hikes you will need a Discover Pass or a Northwest Forest Pass.)
1) Twin Falls- This is a beautiful hike through a lush green forest that leads to a beautiful waterfall. It's located in the North Bend area, so not too far from Seattle/Bellevue. The hike is about 3 miles round-trip and not too steep or difficult, so it's good for children.
http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/twin-falls-state-park (Discover Pass required)
2) Franklin Falls- This waterfall is impressive because you view it from the bottom looking upward, and it is tall, high, and narrow. It's a great hike for young children because the trail is not difficult and not too long, just 2 miles round-trip.
(Northwest Forest Pass required)
3) Wallace Falls- If you're willing to drive a bit farther and hike a bit longer, you can find some of the most spectacular falls in the state. Wallace Falls is a series of several waterfalls. This hike is located off Highway 2 in the Goldbar area (about 1 hour drive from Bellevue/Seattle area) The hike is 5.5 miles round-trip. You hike through beautiful old-growth forest and catch some great mountain views.
(Discover Pass required)
4) Otter and Big Creek Falls- If you want a long hike, this one is 10 miles round trip. It's more peaceful than some of the other hikes because you will find fewer hikers on this trail. The trail is called Taylor River Trail. In early spring, you might still find snow on the trail, so dress appropriately.
http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/taylor-river (Northwest Forest Pass required)
5) Sol Duc Falls- This hike is in the Olympic National Park, so it's much farther away, but Olympic park has some of the most well-preserved forests. It's a really beautiful hike through mossy old-growth forest that leads to the falls. A wood bridge crosses over the falls, making for a pretty picture!
(National Park entrance fee required)
6) Denny Creek Slippery Rocks- This is one of my favorite summer-time hikes to do with kids. The hike is about 2 miles through a pretty forest, and then you reach a spot where the water runs over big, flat granite rocks and makes a natural waterslide. Kids and adults alike love to splash in the shallow water here on a hot summer day!
http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/denny-creek (Northwest Forest Pass required)
Many, many more waterfall hikes can be found at the Washington Trails Association website: http://www.wta.org/