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Denny Creek

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Denny Creek may be the most family-friendly trail in the region. The popular path leads to a series of waterfalls and to a smooth natural waterslide--a massive rock face over which the creek flows, providing a slippery summertime escape from the heat of the lowlands. Just beyond, hikers will find a couple more falls--most notably the beautiful Keekwulee Falls.

Head up the trail as it rolls north under the high viaduct that carries I-90 traffic west. The trail crosses a creek at about 0.5 mile, then winds through the forested valley before recrossing the creek at base of the waterslide rock at about 1.3 miles.

Come mid-August, you'll certainly find hikers--young and old--sporting in the cold water of Denny Creek as it slides over the granite slabs. The creek is shallow enough to be safe, but strong enough to be fun. You'll want to stick close to the kids, though, as there is a small plunge pool at the end of the slab, and the cold water can be shocking.

After cooling off, keep moving up the trail. Just above the waterslide is a small stairstep falls, Keekwulee Falls. In another 0.5 mile (2 miles from the trailhead), is the small Snowshoe Falls. Turn around here for a 4-mile hike. Be sure to stop at the waterslide on your way out--its worth another round of water play before driving home.
Driving Directions:

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 2.5 miles, turning left on the paved road just after the Denny Creek Campground. The trailhead is at the road's end. Northwest Forest Pass required.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 328 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Low Mountain, Denny Creek, Bryant Peak — Jan 22, 2014 — Jeb
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail | Snow on trail
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With a last minute day off of work, I thought I'd take advantage of a sunny forecast to visit Denny ...
With a last minute day off of work, I thought I'd take advantage of a sunny forecast to visit Denny Creek without the usual crowds. The road was mostly clear, the few ruts fully melted out and passable by a medium clearance car until the turnoff to the trailhead, which was covered in a few inches of snow. There were no other cars when we started up the trail at 7:45.

Two to three feet of snow was mostly packed down by boots along the trail until the the upper log crossing above both falls, where a few sets of crampons continued. Besides a few brief clearings we were in fog most of the day. I saw nearly every kind of snow condition throughout the day. Crampons were very helpful for the last few hundred feet of each peak. Made it out and back without encountering a soul.

The fog seemed to be clearing a few times but it ended up climbing right along with me all day. Denny Mountain and the Tooth briefly appeared at the first clearing before Keekwulee Falls. I remember seeing a few more feet of snow there in mid-December 2012. I had trouble kicking steps into the solid crust while crossing the last talus field before Hemlock Pass but with a little extra effort, microspikes sufficed and Mavericks built-in crampons worked for him. The trail's outline was clear but we left it at the last switchback below the pass and ascended a short narrow gully and then followed the SW ridge to just below the summit.

As we scrambled up 20 feet of bare rock North of the summit I noticed someones tracks heading up the ridge to Chair Peak. I had the pooch wait behind while a carefully picked my way across the lightly corniced ridgeline to gain the summit, and then quickly descended to continue on to Low Mountain. The clouds occasionally cleared to expose a few surrounding peaks but the sun failed to make it through until we returned to Hemlock Pass. I could see tracks and hear voices from skiers enjoying themselves in Source Lake Basin.

I turned back about 100 feet below the summit of Low Mountain about a year ago in sketchy snow conditions. The snow was firmer this time, but also lower, making for a bit more of a bushwhack through the shorter stuff. We stayed close to the apex of the NW ridge until the summit block came into view. After examining a potential route around the North side and up a very steep, loose rocky col I backtracked and traversed below the summit to the South just above the tree line. I was glad to have a pair of crampons on loan, as the traverse and the remaining 50 feet of steep snow to the summit would have been very tough without them. With nothing to see and Maverick waiting for me below I didn't stay long at the top.

We left the NW ridge early and found the trail above where we had left it. Before crossing back to the West side of Denny Creek we encountered snowshoe tracks over our own which helped prevent some post-holing in the softening snow. We were under clouds the rest of the hike out. Although my snowshoes never left the pack, I am glad to have brought the traction trifecta - microspikes, snowshoes and crampons, as they each could easily have proven to be essential at some point along the way.

~9 miles round trip
5000' elevation gain
9 hours car-to-car

pictures and route map @ http://www.jebsjourneys.com[…]low-mountain-1-22-2014.html
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Denny Creek — Jan 02, 2014 — MTP
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Snow on trail
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Hiked as far as the foot bridge above Snowshoe Falls. Trail was a difficult mix of ice/snow and roc...
Hiked as far as the foot bridge above Snowshoe Falls. Trail was a difficult mix of ice/snow and rocky patches the whole way, though there was more ice/snow the higher we went. One blown down tree before Denny Creek which is fairly easy to pass. Another shortly after crossing Denny Creek that is much more difficult to bypass as it is a giant tree fallen down the length of the trail. In fact, I snagged and ripped my rain pants... bummer! Additionally, due to all the rocky patches, one of my YakTrak broke. All in all, a tough hike. Would recommend waiting for more snow to cover the trail.
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Denny Creek — Dec 13, 2013 — NorthWestHiker
Day hike
Issues: Water on trail | Snow on trail
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Found the trailhead easily. With the weather being 38 degrees and slushy snow the two dogs and I sta...
Found the trailhead easily. With the weather being 38 degrees and slushy snow the two dogs and I started our hike. We crossed under the I-90 overpass then hit a bridge crossing the creek. This is where we encountered a problem. There were clusters of "icicle like needles" pointing upward that the dogs got hurt walking over just on the edge of the trail so be very careful with your four legged companions. Finally we crossed the iced over river with caution and turned back due to one of the dogs breaking his dew claw. They both had bloody paw prints due to the icicles of death! But it is a beautiful hike and I think the danger will go away with colder weather.
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Denny Creek — Dec 12, 2013 — Maddy
Day hike
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Great place to check out ice. the trail is covered with less than 1 inch of snow at the beginning. ...
Great place to check out ice. the trail is covered with less than 1 inch of snow at the beginning. It about 5 inches deep at the water cascades at 1.5 mi.
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Denny Creek — Nov 29, 2013 — Bosco
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns
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The icy falls were beautiful, though the trail surface challenging. Most of the trail was covered in...
The icy falls were beautiful, though the trail surface challenging. Most of the trail was covered in snow- some of it soft, lumpy, and slippery, some of it crunchy with better traction, and some of it just pure ice on which I shuffled across! Some form of 'yak tracks' would have been welcome!

Encountered one blow-down that fell across the trail and spanned at least 10 meters of trail. It wasn't just one trunk- but there were branches everywhere.
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denny creek solo steve.jpg
The water slide area of Denny Creek. Photo by "Solo Steve."
WTA worked here!
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Location
Denny Creek to Melakwa Lake (#1014)
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Snoqualmie Ranger District (425) 888-1421
Statistics
Roundtrip 4.0 miles
Elevation Gain 700 ft
Highest Point 3000 ft
Features
Rivers
Waterfalls
Old growth
User info
Good for kids
Dogs allowed on leash
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades
Hiking Guide to Washington Geology (Carson & Babcock - Keokee) p. 133-136
Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerDenny Creek
47.4162479 -121.4456428
  • Trail Work 2013 Frontcountry
  • Trail Work 2012
  • Trail Work 2011
  • Trail Work 2010
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