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Franklin Falls

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Settlers heading for the Puget Sound lowlands had few route options: they could float down the Columbia River (portaging around the falls near The Dalles), they could take a ship through the Pacific - either from California, or all the way around from the Atlantic - or they could take the Snoqualmie Pass Wagon Road. This road was originally a trading path used by Native Americans, and later was a mule trail used by fur traders. Eventually, settlers and traders carried goods on wagons over this lowest of the Cascade passes. Today's interstate uses parts of the old wagon track, but in the Denny Creek area, where the interstate splits, the old wagon trace is still visible.

The trail is well marked as it follows the old wagon track along the South Fork Snoqualmie River. There's also a continuation of the Denny Creek Road as it follows the old highway route up to the pass. If the kids get footsore on the mile-long hike up to the falls, let them skip down the road on the way back. But the trail is the better option, as it climbs through the mossy forest, periodically crossing the old carved ruts of the wagon road--those steel-shod wooden wagon wheels cut deep.

The path reaches Franklin Falls at 1 mile, with the last 100 yards climbing steeply on rocky trail to the base of the falls. The tall falls pounds down a sheer rock face, providing a refreshing spray to cool hot hikers. Don't venture out into the falls water, however. It's coming down hard and frequently carries loose rocks down with the tumbling water.
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 3 miles, passing the Denny Creek Campground. Just past the camp-ground, turn left onto FR 5830 and park before crossing the bridge.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 130 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Franklin Falls — Apr 13, 2014 — thompl4
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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It was a great day to go hiking in the pacific northwest! There was snow on the road up to the trail...
It was a great day to go hiking in the pacific northwest! There was snow on the road up to the trailhead, so we had to park and walk for about 20 minutes till we got to the trailhead. The entire trail was covered in snow, but it was not difficult to make our way up to the falls. Very short hike but man is the view beautiful, especially on a sunny day like today! Highly recommend this hike. It's nice and easy/short with an awesome view at the end. Enjoy!
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Franklin Falls — Mar 31, 2014 — awaphoohee
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail | Road to trailhead inaccessible
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Road closed about 1 mi from the trailhead. Parked the car and hiked on the snowy road to the trailhe...
Road closed about 1 mi from the trailhead. Parked the car and hiked on the snowy road to the trailhead. The forest is still under 6 ft of snow, but trail is well traveled and hard packed all the way to the falls. Walked to the falls in low hiking boots with good tread, but used Yaktrax on the way back down. Trail is clear and easy to follow, although snow was smoothy at times. Great hike in great (sunny) weather. Couldn't ask for anything better!
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Franklin Falls — Mar 15, 2014 — grummer
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail | Road to trailhead inaccessible
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The last mile or so of the road to the trail head had too much snow for our vehicle to handle, so we...
The last mile or so of the road to the trail head had too much snow for our vehicle to handle, so we parked on the road and walked. On our walk we encountered two men digging out a Jeep 4x4 that got stuck in the snow just past the bridge.

The trail itself was fairly well traveled and pretty manageable without snowshoes as long as we stayed in the center of the hard-packed trail. Snowshoes would certainly give you more flexibility in your foot placement.

If you've got a burning desire to hangout under a highway for awhile, Franklin Falls is certainly the most beautiful way to satisfy your craving.
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Franklin Falls — Mar 08, 2014 — Troy9189
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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Hiked Franklin Falls today.. and then some. Road to the trailhead is snowed out from before the camp...
Hiked Franklin Falls today.. and then some. Road to the trailhead is snowed out from before the campground. You'll have to park alongside the road and hike about a mile down the road before coming to the Franklin Falls trailhead. I STRONGLY recommend snowshoes. I made the mistake of attempting this hike without my snowshoes and paid for it. The trail is completely covered in snow, which is beautiful if you're careful! The trail is fairly simple to trek with snowshoes until the very last little part before the falls - steep and narrow leading to the fall but manageable!
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Franklin Falls — Feb 16, 2014 — PNW Bigfoot Hunter
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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Got a late start at about 8:30am and back to the truck by 11am. Really easy hike. There was a goo...
Got a late start at about 8:30am and back to the truck by 11am.

Really easy hike. There was a good amount of snow on the trail but not enough to warrant snowshoes (I just used crampons but yak tracs would suffice).

If you are wearing snowshoes I would suggest you take them off when you get to the falls. The trail gets a little narrow and I'm sure you don't want to go for a swim.
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Franklin.jpg
Photo taken by @ziptiecloud on Instagram
WTA worked here!
2011, 2012, 2013
Location
Franklin Falls (#1036)
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 2.0 miles
Elevation Gain 400 ft
Highest Point 2600 ft
Features
Rivers
Waterfalls
User info
Good for kids
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
Best Hikes with Kids - Western Washington & the Cascades (Burton - Mountaineers Books)
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 MarkerFranklin Falls
47.413 -121.44155
  • Trail Work 2013 Frontcountry
  • Trail Work 2012
  • Trail Work 2011
(47.4130, -121.4416) Open in new window
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