If you’re looking for an easy hike this summer, try taking the short trail out to
Franklin Falls. This spectacular cascade on the Snoqualmie River can be reached by way of a pleasant 2-mile hike with very little elevation, just outside of North Bend.
Franklin Falls actually drops in three tiers on the south fork of the Snoqualmie River, but the only one that can be seen from the trail is the final drop of 70 feet. It's thought to be hidden in plain sight, just underneath the elevated roadway of I-90.
The dog-friendly path to the falls only goes for about 2 miles round-trip. It's a perfect day hike if you're bringing the little ones, new to hiking, or just don't feel like going on a long, strenuous venture.
The short trail follows along Denny Creek, as it passes by several cabins and up well-maintained stairs through a forest of old-growth cedar. After only about a mile, it eventually leads out to the gorgeous viewing area for the falls.
The final stretch of the trail to the base of the falls descends past wet (and sometimes slippery) rocks, so be cautious. At the bottom, you can walk around the splash pool and enjoy a cool, refreshing spray coming off the cascade.
It's even more stunning to see the waterfall in action. Check out this short, 53-second relaxation clip from the Relaxation Channel on YouTube:
While you're in the area, look out for the
Wagon Road Trail
, which runs parallel to the path for Franklin Falls. This historic path is actually the only road remaining that had been built in the 1800s to cross Snoqualmie Pass, and can be taken on your way back from the falls to form a nice loop.
You'll also need a Northwest Forest Pass, since the trail is located within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Luckily, a day pass is only $5 and can easily be purchased online