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Visiting Franklin Falls - Washington's Most Beautiful Waterfall

Franklin Falls is a beautiful Washington waterfall in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest on the South fork of the Snoqualmie River. After hiking 1.0 mile along the trail, you'll see the 135' Franklin Falls.

Situated in the scenic Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, this three-tiered waterfall provides an excellent view for photographers, nature-lovers, and sightseers alike. From the banks of the river, you can take in the breathtaking view of the two tiers cascading over the rugged terrain and marvel at the cascades and rapids below.

Franklin Falls is also an excellent place to observe some of the diverse wildlife of the Pacific Northwest, with a variety of bird and plant life around the waterfall.

Franklin Falls

Key Information about Franklin Falls

Location: Near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

Coordinates: 47.42497 -121.43243

Height: 135'

Closest Town: North Bend, Washington

# of drops: 3

Width: ~25'

River: South Fork of the Snoqualmie River

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Family Friendly: Yes.

Franklin Falls in winter
You can still visit Franklin Falls in winter but the hike is twice as long.

Getting to Franklin Falls

The waterfall is just west of Snoqualmie Pass on I-90, about an hour from Seattle. The waterfall is easiest to access via Forest Road 58. Take Exit 47 toward Denny Creek and then follow NF-58 for 12 minutes (around 4 miles).

Visitors flock to Franklin Falls for its recreational opportunities, such as swimming, fishing, kayaking and camping. Hiking and biking trails lead to tranquil mountain views and open meadows that stretch for miles. With its close proximity to Seattle, Franklin Falls offers visitors an ideal spot for a nature-filled retreat from city life.

Franklin Falls Summer
Summer is a far more popular time to visit Franklin Falls.

Franklin Falls Map

You can use the map below to navigate to Franklin Falls:

What to Pack For Your Trip

If you're just going to hike the falls, you may not need to worry too much about what you pack. There are some towns fairly close by, like North Bend, and there are usually things for sale in the Snoqualmie area. But if you're planning to spend longer in the area, here's what you should think about bringing:

Franklin Falls Stairs
The stairs along the Franklin Falls trail

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Rain pants

  • Water bottle

  • Hat

  • Sunscreen

  • First aid kit

  • Bug spray

  • Comfortable shoes

  • Sunglasses

  • Flashlight

  • Multi-tool

  • Snacks

  • Map and compass

  • Pocket knife

Staying Safe While Visiting the Falls

There are a few things you should be aware of when hiking to Franklin Falls, especially if you have children with you. While the path to the falls is very well maintained, around the falls themselves, the rocks can be wet and very slippery. We highly recommend sticking to the established path only.

Franklin falls Trail
The Franklin Falls trail in winter

The Hike Itself

From the parking lot, you'll follow the South Fork of the Snonqualmie River through dense, green Pacific Northwest forest for about a mile. There is a slight incline to the trail as well as some stairs that hikers should be aware of. You'll hear the falls as you get closer, and you'll notice that the path starts getting wetter and more rocky.

Make sure to watch your footing here, as it can be quite slippery. At the end of the trail is Franklin Falls, which you can get quite close to. In the summer, you might even see people swimming.

When to Hike Franklin Falls

Summer is certainly the best time to make the hike to the falls (especially because the cool spray that comes off the waterfall). But it's also the busiest time of year. If you're hoping to avoid the crowds, considering visiting the falls in spring or autumn when fewer people are making the drive from North Bend and Seattle.

Franklin Falls in winter view
Another view of the falls in winter.

You should be aware of road closures in the area as well. During the winter, the forest service road closes and extends the hike by four miles. But if you really want to see the falls, it's worth it!

Where to Camp Nearby

Only 7 minutes from Franklin Falls is the beautiful and quiet Denny Creek Campground. The campground is 17 miles east of North Bend on the Snoqualmie River, where it crosses with Denny Creek. To reach the campground from Seattle, take Interstate 90 to Exit 47. It's open from May 27th to September 29th every year, and there are 24 campsites to choose from.

Franklin Falls
The best view of Franklin Falls

23 minutes from Franklin Falls is Tinkham Campground. The campground sits beside South Fork Snoqualmie River, which will serenade you throughout the night, breaking the peace and quiet of this popular campsite. Riverside campsites are $18 a night, and sites located slightly back from the river are $16.

Carter Creek Campground

25 minutes from Franklin Falls is Carter Creek Campground. It's another small campground that is first-come-first-serve only. There is no fee to camp here, but there are also none of the amenitites that you can expect at other sites.

Middle Fork Campground

50 minutes from Franklin Falls is the Middle Fork Campground. It is located along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River and offers 39 campsites and 2 group sites.

More Waterfall Trails in the Area

If Franklin Falls wasn't enough waterfall for you, there are several other beautiful options in the area. We highly recommend checking out:

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is another popular and large waterfall in the area. Standing at a height of 270 feet, the impressive cascading waterfall is the centerpiece of the park it calls home. People from all over the world visit to take in its majestic beauty.

Visitors can also explore the hiking trails and marvel at the wildflowers and ancient forests surrounding the area. Picnics are popular on the banks of the river, and a viewing platform gives people a bird's eye view of the falls.

Snoqualmie Falls
The beautiful and popular Snoqualmie Falls

Twin Falls

The popular Twin Falls trail is closer to Seattle and is very busy on weekends and throughout the summer. The hike is longer, reaching around 3.6 miles out and back. This breathtaking waterfall cascades down in two streams into a small pool of clear blue water below.

With a steady and gentle flow, it's an inviting sight for those seeking to relax and take in the tranquil beauty of nature.

Teneriffe/Kamikaze Falls

A close up of Coal Creek Falls
Coal Creek Falls

This is a great waterfall to visit near Seattle. There are multiple ways to approach the waterfall, and all of them are of moderate difficulty. The waterfall is part of the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area near North Bend.

Coal Creek Falls in the Seattle/Bellevue area is another good option if you live in the city and don't want to make the hour drive to Snoqualmie. It is in the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park and is 28 feet tall. The waterfall is easiest to access via the Red Town Trailhead.

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