Saturday, September 10, 2011

Waterfalls near Snoqualmie Pass

Near Snoqualmie Pass, about 60 miles east of Seattle, are 3 pretty waterfalls that were worth driving out of my way to see. I took the long way home from Leavenworth one day (US 97 to I 90) to visit them, and I'm glad I did, though I got a little lost trying to find them. The one above is called Roaring Creek Falls. It seems to be on private property, but there were signs directing you to the falls, and I didn't see any "no trespassing" signs.

This area is where my "Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest" book told me I could view the falls. I thought that was kind of silly considering all I had to do was scramble down the hill a bit (in a very safe area) to get a much better, unobscured view as seen in the top picture.

Next I punched in my GPS coordinates for Snowshed Falls. I should have followed my book's directions instead. The problem with using GPS coordinates to find waterfalls is that it will take you as far as it can on real roads, and then will make up a non-existent road for you to turn on out into the middle of nowhere. It could literally tell you to drive off a cliff if you're not paying attention.

These directions tried to get me to come down on the waterfall from above, which led me up into this beautiful area near Stampede Pass.

I saw a little trail that I began hiking down, but I eventually figured out it wasn't taking me to the falls and backtracked. Unfortunately it delayed me for quite some time.

At least I was able to get several pretty pictures because of this lengthy detour.

Once I made it back to the car, I decided to actually follow my book's directions this time. They weren't terribly clear since I had to hike blindly for awhile before I found the train tracks I was supposed to follow, but I did make it to the falls. This snowshed was built to protect trains from the spray of this waterfall - hence the name "Snowshed Falls." It really wasn't that big of a falls, so I was surprised that they would spend a lot of money for a lot of concrete just to avoid a bit of spray. But I guess they know their business better than I do.

My last stop took me to Franklin Falls, which according to my book I could drive or hike to. We'd actually tried to take my niece, Hana, to this falls after taking her to Twin Falls in May, but the road was blocked by too much snow.

I could not for the life of me find where I was supposed to turn off to view the falls, but I did find the easy 1 mile hike that would take me there.

It was a very pleasant hike with some pretty views of the river.

And Franklin Falls was gorgeous! It was only given a 3 out of 5 star rating in my book, but I would have given it a 5. Beautiful!

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