A hike to view a Pacific Northwest waterfall is always a treat. In spring, when runoff from melting snow fills streams and rivers, waterfall viewing is at its best as massive amounts of water cascade down rocky cliffs.
Bridges, stairs, minimal elevation gain, and a short distance make viewing Franklin Falls an easy adventure for most hikers. The forested trail follows the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. There is a viewing platform alongside the main trail where you can stay reasonably dry, but for a true adventure, walk to where the falls crash down into the river, and let the heavy mist envelop you. You’ll want to wear your rain gear.
The trail to Franklin Falls can be found at the Denny Creek trailhead. In addition to the falls, there are other destinations to explore later in the year, such as Melakwa Lake, Keekwulee, and Snowshoe Falls. In the summertime, both kids and kids-at-heart can enjoy the natural waterslides formed by water flowing over smooth rocks in Denny Creek. In winter, this is a lovely place to snowshoe and admire the icicles, which form near the falls.
On your way back home, stop in North Bend and check out Heirloom Cookshop, or get a slice of cherry pie at Twede’s Café, made famous by the Twin Peaks, television series. Or stop by Salish Lodge and Spa for lunch or dinner and to view the epic Snoqualmie Falls.
Franklin Falls is a beautiful 45-minute drive from Bellevue and provides an easy two-mile round-trip hike the whole family can enjoy and up-close views of a lovely waterfall; it will inspire you to return to the area for summer adventures.