Wallace Falls is one of the most popular hiking destination, that offers breathtaking scenic views across every corner of the trail path. This is a 5.5 mile round-trip moderate hike with a slight elevation gain of upto 1500 feet. If you are a beginner, you might find some difficulty with the elevation and winding slope as you hike up to the upper falls. Wallace falls has three levels – you start your hike to lower falls followed by Middle Falls and finally to the Lower Falls. If you are unable to continue to upper falls, you still get some great views of the lower and middle falls stops. The whole trail is so beautiful and one of the favorite places for photographers to capture some amazing photo shots of the Waterfalls, River Valley and Olympic mountains. The trail is well maintained and clean pathways throughout all three levels of the falls. This trail is crowded with limited parking spots and highly recommend to start your hike very early in the morning.
Location: Central Cascades
Parking Pass: Discovery Pass (required)
Franklin falls is a perfect place for any beginner hiker looking for a simple day hike. The trail is only 2 miles roundtrip that starts with a flat surface followed by number of steps with very slight elevation gain. As you hike through the trail, you will be passing through beautiful creek and there are plenty of spots to capture some beautiful pictures if you are a photography person like me. There is a viewpoint before reaching the falls but if you are interested to get a closer look of the falls, there is a very narrow trail by the side of the rock. You have to be extremely careful when walking by the side of the rock as the pathway is very rugged, wet and slippery. It is beautiful to walk past the rock and see the falls very close. Franklin falls is accessible year-round and some of my friends have done the falls hike during winter season. It’s a different experience to do the hike in winter to experience the icicle formation and wanted to personally do the hike during winter.
In the recent years, they have a large parking area compared to the small ones 5 years ago. Once you take Exit#47 in I-90 east, keep following the signs of Franklin Fall and drive all the way until you cross the bridge to the Franklin falls trailhead. As for any other hiking spot, my recommendation would always be to start early to get a parking spot.
Parking Pass: Northwest Pass or Discovery Pass (required)
Coal Creek Falls
This was a 2.5 mile morning hike with all the beautiful mothers on occasion of Mothers day. The trail-head of this hike is located right off Coal Creek Parkway between 405 and Newcastle. Its a small parking lot which fits about 8 cars. You will see moss covered wall on your path to Coal Creek falls. This is an excellent hiking spot to do day hikes, suitable for all age-groups and a very family friendly trail.The trail is very well packed and well maintained over the years. The first half mile is enjoyable and is mostly flat making for a nice creek side adventure. The second half is slightly uphill and you’ll be crossing mini bridge to reach the falls. This trail is known for its muddy conditions but there are alternate clean routes available to reach the falls. As the trail begins to descend you should hear the sound of running water from nearby Coal Creek. Overall a very short and easy hike to do it over a weekend. This was a very special one for us to take some time off and enjoy with all the mothers.
Location: Issaquah (I-90 East, Exit#13)
Parking Pass: None
Twin Falls is another popular trail suitable for all age groups. After a successful mother’s day hike at Coal creek, we decided to do another hike with all the lovely ladies. This is a 3 mile roundtrip to cover both upper and lower falls.
There are several scenic spots throughout the trail, you will be passing by beautiful creeks and climbing through a moss covered forest area with canopy of trees all around. The well maintained trail follows the river and the first half of the trail is pretty easy and straightforward. The second half of the trail involves climbing a stairway that takes you to the lower falls and a bridge over the upper falls.There are around ~90 to 100 steps that you need to descend down to the Lower Falls viewpoint which is definitely worth it. I love most of the hikes in North Bend area and Twin falls is special for it’s scenic beauty throughout the trail head.
Location: North Bend Area
Parking Pass: Discover Pass