Coal Creek Falls is a popular waterfall near Bellevue, Washington. It's most easily accessed via the Red Town Trailhead. It is certainly not the hardest trail in the area and most hikers will have an easy time making the hike in.
Before heading off on your hike, take some time to look at a trail map and familiarize yourself with the area. There are many different trails going in all different directions so it can be really easy to take the wrong one!
The waterfall is located about 20 minutes from downtown Seattle and 18 minutes from Bellevue, making it a perfect half-day outing for hikers of all abilities.
To get there, Bellevue Way SE and Coal Creek Pkwy SE to Newcastle Commons Dr, turn left onto Newcastle Commons Drive, turn left onto SE 68th St or SE Newcastle Coal Creek Rd or Newcastle Golf Club Road, then take 155th Ave SE to SE 79th Place. The turn off leads to two parking areas. You want the one at the far end if it isn't full.
Everything You Need to Know
Permit/Parking Pass: No permit or pass is needed
Location: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park
Hike Length: 2.5 miles, out and back
Facts about Coal Creek Falls
It might not be the tallest waterfall in Washington but it is quite beautiful, reaching 28 feet and appromixmatly 5 feet wide. The falls are part of Coal Creek which you're likely to hear as you're hiking to the waterfall.
Height: 28 feet
Number of drops: 1
Width: around 5 feet
Waterfall type: Horsetail
Stream: Coal Creek
Coal Creek Falls Trailhead
At the trailhead, there is a large parking lot but unfortunately it's not quite large enough for the waterfall's popularity. This means that you're going to need to get there early enough to get a spot. When you turn off the main road, make sure to go to the parking area at the end of the road, this is where the trail is. This is no more true than on weekends in summer! At the trailhead you can find:
Bags for dog poop
Hiking Coal Creek Falls
Luckily, the hike into Coal Creek Falls is pretty easy! It's not quite as easy as some of the drive-up waterfalls throughout Washington and Oregon but it hopefully won't pose too much of an issue.
The trail starts out on the Red Town Trail before quickly becoming the Cave Hole Trail. Make sure to take a left at the first two junctions before taking a right at the third, merging onto the Cave Hole Trail. In about 0.4 miles you'll come to another junction where you'll need to take a right. Take this trail all the way to the falls and Coal Creek. When you get to a staircase, you'll know you're almost there.
Luckily, the trail is very well maintained so even if it's rained recently it should be fairly easy to follow. We have WTA to thank for that!
To Do Nearby
Due to its proximity to Seattle, there are plenty of other things to do near Coal Creek Falls. Here are a few of the nearby waterfalls you might be interested in:
If you're looking for some lake-based adventures, there are some very beautiful lakes near Seattle that are worth exploring. Including:
Lake Washington: known for water sports and hiking
Lake Sammamish: best for watersports and photography
Lake Union: known for watersports and proximity to Seattle
Haller Lake: best for fishing and walking